Facebook turns to newspaper ads to combat fake news

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The issue of fake news, or websites set up to deliberately spread false information to affect political outcomes around the world, first came up in the aftermath of the USA election in November.

As part of its efforts, Facebook has paid for "old media" advertisements in several British newspapers, which includes tips for spotting and dealing with falsified news stories.

Additionally, on Monday, the social announced a national print advertising campaign in the United Kingdom to "educate the British public" about fake news, as part of a concerted global effort to crack down on the false information epidemic it has seen on its platform. In the meantime, Facebook is yet to accept the responsibility of having been subjective to the U.S. presidential election in 2016.

"We've made improvements to recognize these inauthentic accounts more easily by identifying patterns of activity - without assessing the content itself", Facebook said in a statement.

However, he quickly pivoted on the issue, promising to help tackle the spread of misinformation online, but also noting the fine line Facebook would have to walk to ensure it wasn't censoring content. It has started weeding out false stories by displaying a "warning" label under news pieces which have been marked as disputed by fact-checkers.

Meanwhile the platform said it had already removed "tens of thousands" of fake Facebook accounts. And given the fact that many believe fake news helped push the country out of the European Union., there will no doubt be plenty of attention given to whether Facebook is the source of similar election-related fake news.

The campaign, which is an extension of one run on Facebook's own site since April, encompasses ten tips to identifying "false news".

Previously, Facebook has covered about 30 000 of fake accounts that were spreading the fake news on the eve of presidential elections in France. The company provided more details with regards to the effects of the measure to the publication, as well.

"We've found that if reading an article makes people significantly less likely to share it, that may be a sign that a story has misled people in some way", a company spokesperson told The Guardian.

The moves were greeted with scepticism by Hetan Shah, chief executive of the Royal Statistical Society, which is calling for social media platforms to accept they have an implicit editorial function.

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