Facebook continues fight against fake news with new, ‘context’ button

on Oct 6, 2017

Facebook’s battle against fake news stepped up a gear this week, as the US tech giant is testing a ‘context’ button for its users.

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The button will give users reading or watching any news on the social media platform, the opportunity to find out more about the source of the news they are seeing and possibly planning to read or watch.

“This new feature is designed to provide people some of the tools they need to make an informed decision about which stories to read, share, and trust,” Facebook said in a press release on the new button.

“Helping people access this important contextual information can help them evaluate if articles are from a publisher they trust, and if the story itself is credible,” Facebook said. The social media platform added this was just a test and they would continue to listen to user and publisher feedback.

The social media platform has come under fire after the streams of news and ads that were uploaded and shared on it, in the lead up to the 2016 US election have since been discredited as fake news. Facebook also said it shut down thousands of accounts ahead of the German election.

Facebook, along with Google and Twitter, have all been invited to give evidence in front of Congress next month. The hearing will relate to ads, accounts and other activity ahead of the US election, which saw Donald Trump become the new US President.

Since then, Trump has repeatedly accused Facebook of allowing fake news to flood the social media platform. He also said the site is anti-Trump.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to Trump’s comments on September and stated his acceptance of the large role played by Facebook in major public events, including elections.

“We will continue to work to build a community for all people. We will do our part to defend against nation states attempting to spread misinformation and subvert elections,” Zuckerberg said on his Facebook newsfeed.