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December 20, 2016

Facebook and others create ways to flag fake news

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  • During the last three months of the presidential campaign, fake or false news headlines generated more engagement on Facebook than true ones.
  • In response, Facebook launched several new tools to flag and dispute what it calls the “worst of the worst” when it comes to fake news.
  • Now, Facebook users can flag fake news stories they see being shared on the platform and will receive a notification before sharing a story found to contain false information.
  • Facebook will also adjust its algorithm so that stories believed to be fake will be seen by less people, decreasing their chance of going viral.
  • Slate has also developed a web browser extension that flags fake news stories and provides a link to a reputable source debunking the false information.

Class discussion questions 
  1. Essential question: Why is fake news dangerous?
  2. Do you read news you come across on Facebook or social media? If so, what makes you trust that the information you encounter is true?
  3. How can news consumers be more responsible about the news they share on social media?
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