Fake news, particularly on Facebook, came under the spotlight during the U.S. presidential elections last year. There has been much talk about the role that it might have played in the swaying the election as well as about Facebook’s responsibility to counter the spread of fake news on its social network. Lawmakers in Germany have recently voiced concerns about the spread of fake news and possible Russian interference ahead of the country’s national elections this year so Facebook has reportedly started rolling out a fake news filter in Germany.
The Financial Times reports that Facebook will now start flagging and fact-checking fake news for users in Germany over the next few weeks. The company has previously launched these tools for users in the United States as part of a partnership with independent fact-checking organizations.
German lawmakers have been concerned about the impact of fake news on their elections later this year in the fall. They don’t want to have a repeat of what happened during the U.S. presidential race last year.
The politicians have even thought about imposing fines on Facebook and other social media networks that allow fake news to spread through their platforms that millions of people use on a daily basis.
According to the report, news stories reported as fake by users in Germany will automatically be sent to a nonprofit news organization based in Berlin called Correctiv. If it’s found to be false the story will be marked as “disputed” with a justification for the label and a warning will also be displayed to users before they are able to share said post. These disputed posts will be relegated to the lower levels of News Feed.
Facebook confirmed to the scribe that it’s looking to work with other media partners in Germany to further counter the spread of fake news. It also said that it will launch these fact-checking tools in other countries as well. “Our focus is on Germany right now but we’re certainly thinking through what countries will unveil next,” said a spokesperson for the company.