World

Facebook launches anti-fake news drive in France

PARIS Social media company Facebook launched an initiative yesterday to tackle fake news stories in France, with the media in the spotlight as the country's presidential election approaches.

Facebook said it would work with several leading French news organisations, including Agence France Presse, BFM TV, L'Express and Le Monde, to ensure that false news items were not published on its platform.

Facebook has faced criticism that it did not do enough to prevent false information being republished on its platform during last year's US presidential campaign, and in response has taken measures to tackle the problem.

There have been similar concerns that people could disseminate false information on Facebook in the build-up to the French election, which takes place in April and May.

In the US, Facebook said users would find it easier to flag fake articles on their News Feed as a hoax, and added that it will work with organisations such as fact-checking website Snopes, ABC News and the Associated Press to check the authenticity of stories.

Last month, Facebook also set up an anti fake-news initiative in Germany, where government officials had expressed concerns that fake news and "hate speech" on the Internet could influence a parliamentary election in September in which chancellor Angela Merkel will seek a fourth term in office. - REUTERS

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