Facebook launch ad campaign to help users spot fake news

generic stock news facebook logo facebook office technology social media business Picture: PA
By Evelyn Ring
Irish Examiner Reporter

An advertisement campaign to help users spot false news has been launched by Facebook as platforms continue to suffer from misinformation about Covid-19.

The initiative that will roll out across Facebook here encourages users to question what they read online.

It comes at a tense time for the tech giant which has been criticised for its handling of misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Advertisements, developed by Facebook in consultation with fact-checking partner, Full Fact, asks people to question what they see online.

It advises: “What's left out of a story can sometimes tell you just as much as what made it in. Remember, images can be faked."

Readers should also be aware of how a story makes them feel because people who make fake news often try to manipulate feelings.

Head of Facebook Ireland, Gareth Lambe, says these days it can be difficult to know what to read, trust and share: “This campaign aims to help people think critically and identify sources of information that may be unreliable, as well as deliberately false or misleading information."

Facebook claims it has removed hundreds of thousands of coronavirus-related misinformation that could contribute to imminent physical harm since the pandemic began, such as false claims about cures and harmful content that links 5G technology to the disease.

The social network put warning labels on about 50 million pieces of content related to Covid-19, based on around 7,500 articles by their independent fact-checking partners in April.

Facebook is a member of Media Literacy Ireland,  an independent association working to promote media literacy across Ireland.

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