Facebook Wages War On Fake News Ahead Of UK Election By Deleting Thousands Of Accounts

Facebook is preparing for election season in the United Kingdom. The social media giant claims to have detected and deleted tens of thousands of “fake news” accounts. Facebook also plans to run advertisements in British newspapers about how to spot fake news sites.

Simon Milner, Facebook’s director of policy in the United Kingdom, remarked, “People want to see accurate information on Facebook and so do we. That is why we are doing everything we can to tackle the problem of false news. We have developed new ways to identify and remove fake accounts that might be spreading false news so that we get to the root of the problem.”

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Image from: Flickr, secretlondon123

Facebook has introduced new technology that is reportedly better at identifying accounts that spread spam or fake news. One such method is to detect whether an account repeatedly posts the same thing. The company is also working on demoting suspicious accounts and posts so that they appear less frequently in users' news feeds. Facebook is testing technology as well that identifies whether users share an article and why.

Facebook’s newspaper advertisement contains ten ways to spot fake news. Some of the tips include double-checking a site’s URL, fact-checking dates and evidence, looking for other corroborating reports, and making sure a site is not satire. This advice will begin to appear in British newspapers starting today. Facebook’s various fake news measures are in response to accusations that fake news on social media affected the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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The social media site plans to partner with Full Fact, First Draft, and other third-party organizations to combat fake news. Facebook has also vowed to hire 3,000 additional people to reduce extremist, violent, or distressing content, such as suicide threats. These changes come in the wake of the Cleveland, Ohio shooting that was streamed on the social media site and other disturbing videos.