Facebook publishes tips for spotting fake news, ahead of election

Facebook has increased its campaign against fake news, by publishing adverts in the UK press, containing a list of tips to help the public decide whether a story is genuine.

The ads have been published in papers including The Times, The Guardian and Daily Telegraph and comes as the social media giant is under fresh political pressure to tackle fake news in the run up to the UK general election.

Facebook's ten considerations for spotting fake news include: be sceptical of headlines; look closely at the URL [web address]; investigate the source; watch for unusual formatting; consider the photos; check the date; check the evidence; look at other reports; is the story a joke?; some stories are intentionally false or satirical.

Facebook is also decreasing the ranking of stories that people tend to read but not share.

In a recently released report, the social media platform admitted it had seen political propaganda deliberately spread on its site: ”We have observed many actions by fake account operators that could only be performed by people with language skills and a basic knowledge of the political situation in the target countries, suggesting a higher level of coordination and forethought.

Simon Milner, Facebook's UK director of policy, commented: “People want to see accurate information on Facebook and so do we.

"To help people spot false news we are showing tips to everyone on Facebook on how to identify if something they see is false."