Facebook's Ten Commandments to fights fake news

GN Bureau | September 21, 2017


#post-truth   #politics   #fake news   #social media   #Facebook  
(Illustration: Ashish Asthana)
(Illustration: Ashish Asthana)

Social media giant Facebook has offered “tips for spotting false news” as part of its campaign to combat spread of misinformation.

In a full-page advertisement in sections of print media, Facebook offered the tips, along with the tagline: “Together, we can limit the spread of false news.”

In recent years, especially after the last year’s US elections and Brexit referendum, cyberspace – independence website, blogs and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter – have been awash with mischievous posting masquerading as news and tilting public opinion at will. The mainstream media too have often fallen prey and given authenticity to false news.

This trend is so powerful that it is now seen as shaping global political equations. ‘Post-truth’, in a sense – fake news, became the word of the year in 2016.

READ MORE from our cover story on post-truth last year:
More lies ahead
And Truth Shall Have No Dominion

Facebook too has courted controversy over alleged bias in its news streaming during the US elections. Against this background, the FB print advertisement campaign is a significant development.

Its ten tips for spotting false news are:

1. Be sceptical of headlines.
2. Look closely at the URL.
3. Investigate the source.
4. Watch for unusual formatting.
5. Consider the photos.
6. Inspect the dates.
7. Check the evidence.
8. Look at other reports.
9. Is the story a joke?
10. Some stories are intentionally false.

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