Facebook launches anti-fake news drive in France

Social media giant agrees plan with media groups ahead of presidential elections

Facebook has faced criticism it did not do enough to prevent false information being republished on its platform during last year’s US presidential campaign. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Facebook has faced criticism it did not do enough to prevent false information being republished on its platform during last year’s US presidential campaign. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

 

Facebook has launched an initiative to tackle fake news stories in France, with the media in the spotlight as the country’s presidential election approaches.

The social media giant said on Monday it would work with several leading French news organisations, including Agence France Presse, BFM TV, L’Express and Le Monde among others to ensure false news items were not published on its platform.

Facebook has faced criticism that it did not do enough to prevent false information being republished on its platform during last year’s US presidential campaign, and in response has set up measures to try to tackle the problem.

There have been similar concerns that people could disseminate false information on Facebook in the build-up to the French election, which takes place in April and May.

In the United States, Facebook said users would find it easier to flag fake articles on their News Feed as a hoax, and added that it will work with organisations such as fact-checking website Snopes, ABC News and the Associated Press to check the authenticity of stories.

Last month Facebook also set up an anti fake-news initiative in Germany, where government officials had expressed concerns that fake news and “hate speech” on the internet could influence a parliamentary election in September in which chancellor Angela Merkel will seek a fourth term in office. –(Reuters)