Facebook Battles Against False Information


Evangelina Morales, Staff Reporter

Facebook is taking actions to stop the spread of “fake news” by adding a new resource available in 14 countries called Spot False News which is an educational method to teach people to be aware on false information and help them to recognize it.

The social network added a box to the top of the news page where users can easily spot false information and at the same time help identify and report the fake news. The banner’s name is “tips for spotting false news” and just click “learn more” to educate yourself.

Facebook is in partnership with The News Literacy Project, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens to educate people about what to do in case they see fake stories.

Fake news is considered to be information that does not have credibility, facts, or any type of evidence that supports the claim that the writer is trying to make because it is manipulating or changing facts for their benefits.

“I think one of the benefits of Facebook offering how to spot false news is to inform the people rightly with the actual facts because there are people that do post fakes stories,” freshman Jackeline Oyervides said.

According to Foxnews.com, one of the objectives of Facebook to create this news tool is “helping people make informed judgments about the news they read and share online.”

Facebook is giving opportunities to people to easily report any story that they think is fake news. In 4 steps users will be able to mark stories as false.

  1. Tap V next to the post you’d like to mark as false
  2. Tap Report post
  3. Tap It’s a false news story
  4. Tap Mark this post as false news

Now more than ever, young people are turning social media into their main news source without being aware about the validity of the information.

“I think it is a good resource because of a lot of people nowadays tend to get their news from social like Facebook,” Oyervides said.

In addition, Facebook offers tips on what people should look out and be aware such as:

  • Be skeptical of headlines
  • Look closely at the URL
  • Investigate the source
  • Watch for unusual formatting
  • Consider the photos
  • Inspect the dates
  • Check the evidence
  • Look at other reports
  • Is the story a joke?
  • Some stories are intentionally false

“ I think it is a good idea that finally after being blamed for much of the paranoia about whether the media was actually giving us correct information, Facebook has put something out there to make sure they won’t be blamed for false information,” junior BJ Laudermilk said. “If this is very successful, I felt that you will soon see it as a standard on not only social media sites but also actual news outlets as well.”