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Facebook tells Brits to be ‘skeptical’ in newspaper ad warning against fake news

The social network went low-tech, taking out ads in several British newspapers.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Noah Berger
CREDIT: AP Photo/Noah Berger

Facebook is asking voters in the U.K. to be “skeptical of headlines” in the news reads online ahead of its general election next month.

The social network went low-tech, taking out ads in several British newspapers including the Daily Telegraph and The Guardian that enumerate 10 ways readers can spot fake news, the BBC reported.

Be skeptical of headlines

Look closely at the URL

Investigate the source

Watch for unusual formatting

Consider the photos

Check the date

Check the evidence

Look at other reports

Is the story a joke?

Some stories are intentionally false

Facebook’s potential to influence voters ahead of elections has been central to the fake news debate.

The ad campaign comes after France’s contentious presidential election was dogged for months with fake news scandals. France’s now president-elect Emmanuel Macron, who won in Sunday’s elections, was the target of fake news rumors, bot attacks and hacks launched to help nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen appear more favorable.

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The newspaper ads fulfill the wishes of Damian Collins, a conservative member of Parliament who asked Facebook to step up its fake news efforts ahead of the U.K. general election on June 8.

Facebook first became entangled with fake news last year after being criticized for having a liberal bias. Ahead of the November elections in the U.S., CEO Mark Zuckerberg initially dismissed claims that fake news had any effect on voters but has since spearheaded numerous changes to the platform to filter through content and help users better spot false stories. Last week, the company went further announcing its plans to halt government and individual manipulation of its platform to spread fake news.