News

Facebook launches campaign to identify misinformation

Posted on: June 30, 2020 by Mariella Brown

Facebook is launching a campaign to help users identify fake news in a bid to tackle the spread of misinformation about coronavirus on its platforms.

The social media giant will be running adverts to improve people’s awareness of fake news across countries including the UK and is collaborating with the fact-checking service Full Fact to support the project.  

Alongside the ads running on platforms from July, Facebook has today launched a campaign information page encouraging users to question where posts are from, what’s missing and how it makes them feel before sharing them.

Social media companies Twitter, Facebook and Google came under pressure from the government’s DCMS committee last month to provide further evidence about the measures put in place to tackle the ‘infodemic’ of online false narratives about Covid-19.

Speaking about the new campaign, Steve Hatch, Facebook’s vice president for northern Europe, said: “With so many ways to consume the news, it can be difficult to make informed choices about what to read, trust and share.

“This campaign is about asking people three simple questions to help them challenge the information they are reading so they can be more informed.”

The project aims to tackle how users respond to emotive content, as Will Moy, chief executive of Full Fact added, “Emotive content can be more likely to persuade you into believing false news. During this health crisis lives are at stake.

“By taking a moment before sharing something online, people can stop the spread of harmful and misleading information and protect their friends and families.”

The news comes as the World Health Organisation yesterday included tackling misinformation amongst the five priorities that every single country must focus on to save lives.

In a speech to mark the six months since WHO first received reports of Covid-19 cases in China, WHO’s Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “only sharing information from reliable sources” is something everyone should do to protect the health of themselves and others.