April 6, 2017

Beginning Friday, Facebook users in 14 countries including the United States will begin to see an announcement at the top of their news feeds warning them about hoaxes and pointing them to a series of tips to help them to detect fake news.

“(User), it’s possible to spot false news,” reads the PSA, under the legend “tips for spotting false news.” “As we work to limit the spread, check out a few ways to identify whether a story is genuine.”

The message, which disappears after users see it three times, takes users to a page on Facebook’s help center with a few tips for spotting false news, including checking the URL of the site, investigating the source and looking for other reports on the topic.

Image courtesy Facebook.

Image courtesy Facebook.

Adam Mosseri, the vice president of News Feed at Facebook, described the PSA as an “educational tool” in a post announcing the news.

“News Feed is a place for authentic communication,” Mosseri wrote. “Improving news literacy is a global priority, and we need to do our part to help people understand how to make decisions about which sources to trust.”

The fake news warning is Facebook’s latest attempt to grapple with the tide of fraudulent stories that have taken root on the social network and gained prominence during the 2016 election. Previously, Facebook launched a journalism project and began reaching out to local news organizations around the country to better gauge their needs.

The company also hired veteran anchor and reporter Campbell Brown as the head of its Facebook Journalism Project and this week debuted the News Integrity Initiative, a partnership designed to promote news literacy and increase the informativeness of news.

The warning will be rolled out to users in the following countries: Germany, France, Italy, the UK, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Myanmar, Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, Argentina, Canada and the United States.

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Benjamin Mullin was formerly the managing editor of Poynter.org. He also previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow,…
Benjamin Mullin

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