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Facebook Purchases Newspaper Ads To Warn Of Fake News Ahead Of UK Election

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Facebook is in the process of rolling out advertisements in British newspapers to warn people about “fake news” ahead of the national election, according to multiple reports.

The social media company turned tech conglomerate is embedding “tips for spotting false news” directly within popular newspapers. Suggestions include checking the URL (web address) of the site, investigating the source, and looking for other reports on the subject, according to Reuters. If the URL looks very similar to an authentic site, but is slightly different, the site can be a knockoff and thus untrustworthy. Another possible warning sign of fraudulence, according to Facebook, is if the web page has awkward formatting or if content is riddled with errors.

The tech company announced in April that it was providing users the same 10 pieces of advice at the top of the peoples’ News Feed.

The “fake news” advertising campaign in the U.K. is not new. Facebook previously purchased full-page ads in German newspapers for the same purpose, reports Reuters.

Facebook also said last month it removed 30,000 fake accounts in France prior to the first round of elections in the country.

The tech company has been pressured to help discern and purge news stories that are false, unsubstantiated, or misleading, even though doing so in an objective way will be difficult and perhaps impossible. Former President Barack Obama even confronted Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg about the purported problem of “fake news” on the social media platform.

Facebook and Zuckerberg have recently taken such calls rather seriously by hiring a New York Times veteran in May to join a long-time former CNN anchor in its battle against fake news.

Other initiatives include the introduction of two updates in January that Facebook says will help better rank posts in users’ news feed. One of the changes is “incorporating new signals to better identify and rank authentic content.”

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