Did you know over half of web users now use social media as their main source of news each week. By far, Facebook is the most important social network for finding, reading/watching, and sharing news[1]

The internet certainly has its benefits, but it can also have many downfalls. Not all content we see on the web is necessarily trustworthy and accurate; and this problem is particularly common on social media. With key events in news and politics, people are wanting to avoid the ‘fake news’ that often goes viral on social media.

Fake news and hoaxes are mainly produced by profiteers or propagandists. The information is harmful to our community as it can lead to people acting on biased and ill-informed opinion. Facebook have recently introduced an educational tool which is now featured at the top of your newsfeed. It’s there to help fight misinformation and help us keep accurately informed with events across the globe.

How does Facebook’s Educational Tool work?

When you click on the Educational Tool, it provides users with tips on how to identify inaccurate news sources in Facebook’s Help Centre. For example, it gives advice on how to check the URL; ways to investigate the source; and ways to check other reports on the topic. It’s also beginning to attach a warning flag to any news story that is created without fact.

facebook deals with fake news
Credit: Facebook

 

Improving the news literacy of society is particularly important for our education and understanding of the world we live in. Therefore, it’s very commendable of Facebook to take action on the issue of fake news we currently face. Particularly now, after the UK’s rollercoaster of an election will it be worth taking advantage of this tool…


Footnotes

1. Digital News Report 2016