Facebook have announced the testing of a new news filter in France, designed to stop fake news or deeply misleading stories from being shared online via social media.
The announcement comes only two months from the first round of voting in the French Presidential Election.
Under the new filter, dubious news stories flagged by Facebook users will be double checked against eight leading French media outlets, including Le Monde, Agency France-Presse and Liberation. Should any two of the eight provide evidence of ‘fake news,’ the story will be flagged as ‘disputed’ in Facebook’s News feed.
Users will receive a warning before sharing ‘disputed’ stories and will be blocked from using paid advertising to promote ‘disputed’ stories.
In addition, Le Monde and Liberation are believed to have begun compiling their own databases of unreliable fake news websites – which may eventually be used in a similar way to more advanced antivirus companies’ watchlists already used to isolate suspicious phishing websites.
The move comes just months after social media giants Facebook and Twitter faced widespread criticism for the proliferation of fake news websites using false stories or invented facts to promote political agenda during the 2016 US Presidential Elections.
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