The Rise Of Fake News

President Donald Trump, Brexit, and the General Election all have one thing in common, the rise of Fake News. It’s interesting to see how many big world events have been affected by the stories shared all over social media. With the General Election looming and the battle between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn heating up, we look at some of the measures Facebook has taken to tame fake news.

What’s happened so far?

Earlier this month Facebook took huge steps in restricting the growth of fake news by deleting thousands of UK fake news accounts.

The social media giants have also made it harder for us to see any potential fake news articles by promoting only trusted news sources. So, when we open our Facebook and read what’s on our news feed we can now make an informed choice when we head to cast our vote.

The measures have been taken after pressure from press organisations and the government. In a ‘Facebook Live’ interview between Robert Preston and Prime Minister Theresa May, May said “Yes it (fake news) is a concern. During the Conservative party leadership campaign, we started to see some pretty nasty videos being sent around about me. I didn’t actually see any of them, but I’m told they were in the realms of claims that weren’t accurate.”

What Can Facebook Users Do?

Facebook have also released a ten-step guide to help us spot fake news. The guide includes asking readers to investigate the source, looking out for unusual formatting and inspecting the dates. To read the full guide then click here.

Currently Facebook are testing ways to make it easier to report a fake news story. If you come across an article which you’re not sure about then click on the upper right hand corner of a post to report it as false.

What Next for Fake News?

With Germany putting together a draft law which could see fines given to social media companies who fail to take down fake news articles, we could see the start of something similar implemented in the UK.

As I mentioned earlier there is growing pressure from press organisations on the government to address the issue of fake news. Recently the campaign ‘Fighting Fake News’ started, it aims to get people behind their trusted local press.

Fighting Fake News will run up to and through Local Newspaper Week which begins on 15 May and celebrates the ability of local papers to campaign for real change on the issues that matter to their readers.