Welcome news from Facebook on the fake news front


The change to its news feed that Facebook is announcing today offers a first line of defense against the spread of false stories, online hoaxes and conspiracy theories.

This is, no doubt, welcome news to fighters against fake news. It certainly is to us, and we’re excited to be part of this global effort.

Starting today, people in 14 countries (including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan) will see an “educational tool” at the top of their news feed for a few days. This tool goes to Facebook’s Help Center, where users will discover tips on preventing the spread of false information — language Facebook developed with First Draft, another news literacy organization.

It will also highlight work by other experts in the field — including the News Literacy Project.

Readers who would like to dig deeper into the issues will be directed to our site, where they’ll get our take on discerning fact from fiction and identifying what can be trusted, shared and acted on (and what shouldn’t be).

This new effort is part of Facebook’s comprehensive strategy to tackle the pernicious issue of fake news, and it complements the collaborations we’ve already established with the world’s largest social media company.

In January, Facebook announced the Facebook Journalism Project, an initiative that will provide Facebook’s worldwide audience with tools and training that promote accurate journalism and news literacy. NLP is one of the initial partners in the program, and the only one focused solely on news literacy.

Earlier this week, NLP’s president and CEO, Alan C. Miller, and Facebook’s head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, participated in the announcement of the News Integrity Initiative — a program, based at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism, that brings together a global consortium of 19 academic institutions, nonprofits and individuals to collaborate on efforts that advance the cause of news literacy and improve trust in journalism. Facebook is one of the nine initial funders. Again, NLP is one of the initial partners — and, again, we’re the only one focused solely on news literacy.

And finally, as part of the Facebook Journalism Project, we’re in the final stages of working with Facebook on an ambitious public service advertising campaign that will be released on the platform later this spring.

We’re proud to be working with Facebook on all of these fronts — and we couldn’t be more excited to join Facebook, and others, in taking on the challenge to combat misinformation, spin, propaganda, hoaxes, conspiracy theories, outright falsehoods and fake news.

More Updates

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