Facebook reveals plan to tackle spread of fake news online

Facebook is aiming to tackle the spread of fake news and misinformation online. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 10 April 2017

Facebook reveals plan to tackle spread of fake news online

DUBAI: Facebook is aiming to tackle the spread of fake news and misinformation online via multiple avenues, including paying into a $14 million fund to promote news literacy and increase trust in journalism.
As part of its efforts, Facebook is jointly funding a new nonprofit called the News Integrity Initiative which will be based at the City University of New York.
Others contributing to the fund include Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and the Ford Foundation.
Recent polls show the public’s trust in the news industry at a low, the Associated Press reported last week.
False news and misinformation, often masquerading as trustworthy news and spreading on social media, has gained a lot of attention since the 2016 US presidential election. Companies like Facebook are trying to address the issue.
In a statement on Facebook last week, the company’s News Feed Vice President Adam Mosseri said: “We know people want to see accurate information on Facebook – and so do we.
“False news is harmful to our community, it makes the world less informed and it erodes trust. It’s not a new phenomenon, and all of us — tech companies, media companies, newsrooms, teachers — have a responsibility to do our part in addressing it.”
He added that Facebook was working to fight the spread of false news in three areas, including “disrupting economic incentives because most false news is financially motivated; building new products to curb the spread of false news; and helping people make more informed decisions when they encounter false news.”
Mosseri went on to outline why each approach was being taken, saying that the company was taking steps to limit the spread, and therefore economic incentive, of fake news by “making it as difficult as possible for people posting false news to buy ads on our platform through strict enforcement of our policies” and “better identifying false news through our community and third-party fact-checking organizations.”
The senior executive added: “We’re building, testing and iterating on new products to identify and limit the spread of false news,” including “testing ways to make it easier to report a false news story if you see one on Facebook, which you can do by clicking the upper right hand corner of a post. Stories that are flagged as false by our community then might show up lower in your feed.”
In order to help people make more informed decisions, the social media giant is “collaborating with news organizations to develop products together, providing tools and services for journalists, and helping people get better information so they can make smart choices about what they read” through the “Facebook Journalism Project.”
Mosseri also highlights the News Integrity Initiative, the mission of which is to “advance news literacy, to increase trust in journalism around the world and to better inform the public conversation,” he said.

(With the Associated Press)


Egyptian news presenter Aya Shaheen tests positive for coronavirus

Updated 47 min 31 sec ago

Egyptian news presenter Aya Shaheen tests positive for coronavirus

  • Egypt has a total of 24,985 cases of coronavirus infections

DUBAI: Egyptian news presenter Aya Abdelrhman Shaheen revealed on Sunday that she tested positive for the coronavirus.
The eXtra News channel presenter posted on her Facebook page:  
“I have tested positive for the coronavirus. All I need in the upcoming period is your genuine prayers. I have great faith that I will overcome this virus thanks to your love and support. I will be back soon to tell you my experience with COVID-19.”

Egypt shortened a night curfew by one hour on Sunday as it recorded new highs in the daily increases in novel coronavirus cases and deaths.
The Health Ministry said 1,536 new cases had been confirmed including 46 deaths, bringing total cases to 24,985 and deaths to 959.
Earlier, the prime minister’s office said a night curfew would end at 5 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. The curfew begins at 8 p.m., though its start had been brought forward to 5 p.m. last week during the holiday that follows the Eid holiday at the end of Ramadan.
The curfew is one of a number of measures including the closure of schools, cafes and places of worship, that are aimed at curbing the pandemic.