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Facebook runs fake news ad in UK newspapers, while removing a host of bogus profiles

Tyrone Stewart
Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook has revealed its plans to stop the flow of ‘fake news’ during the upcoming UK general election, by removing 'tens of thousands' of fake profiles and running ads in some of the UK’s major newspapers.

The ads being run in UK newspapers, including The Times, The Guardian and Daily Telegraph, provide readers with a list of 10 tips for spotting fake news.

Tips provided include being ‘skeptical’ of unbelievable sounding headlines, looking closely at URLs, checking sources, watching out for unusual formatting, and more.

“People want to see accurate information on Facebook and so do we," Simon Milner, Facebook's UK director of policy, told the BBC. “To help people spot false news we are showing tips to everyone on Facebook on how to identify if something they see is false.”

The social network has been working harder than ever to try and limit the spread of misinformation on its platform since the US presidential election last year – an election that many believe was, in part, won by Donald Trump due to the dissemination of fake news.

Prior to the just completed French presidential election, Facebook worked with media outlets across France to reduce fake news on its platform. Here, it relied on the community to report fake news. Once the news had been reported, the media outlets analysed it and the decided the validity of the claims.

Facebook has also introduced a new flagging system to make it easier for users to report news as fake – though this new tool has only been introduced in the US. Furthermore, last month, it teamed up with Ford, AppNexus, Mozilla, and more, to create a $14m (£11m) fake news initiative with a mission ‘to advance news literacy, to increase trust in journalism around the world, and to better inform the public conversation’.