Is This The Beginning Of The End For Fake News?

Finally, a solution for all that nonsense news getting in the way of the real stuff.

BBC reality check service

by Tara Lepore |
Published on

The BBC has pledged to tackle fake news head on by making its fact-checking service a permanent feature, finally making sense of your Facebook news feed.

The BBC's Reality Check service takes stories - usually involving politicans or public services - and provides the facts behind them, complete with back-up sources and commentary from experts. It also has a Twitter page.

In the week where soon-to-be President Donald Trump called fake news (or anything negative written about him, tbh) a 'total political witch hunt' on Twitter, the broadcaster has pledged to extend its Reality Check website to run at all times, not just around elections and referendums.

Although fake news isn't a totally new thing, it's barely been out of the headlines since it emerged that it might have helped Trump win the US presidential election in November.

BBC's news chief James Harding said the corporation would fact check the most popular outliers on Instagram, Facebook and other social media.

He told The Guardian: 'We are working with Facebook, in particular, to see how we can be most effective. Where we see deliberately misleading stories masquerading as news, we’ll publish a Reality Check that says so.

'We will aim to use styles and formats – online, on TV and on radio – that ensure the facts are more fascinating and grabby than the falsehoods,' he added.

This is an important point.

Fake news is most prevalent on Facebook, where it thrives on the site's algorithm-managed feeds that encourage engagement. The more outrageous a story seems (no matter how false the claims are), the more likely people are going to want to click through to read it. Facebook is now the biggest news outlet in the world, but, unlike newspapers, no current laws restrict what stories can be posted on social networking sites.

And with more people than ever consuming their news on the internet, it's a relief that a major news outlet like the BBC has a plan in action to provide a method to the madness.

Think you've got your fake news filter down to a T? Take our fake news quiz here.

Like this? You might also be interested in:

Your Need To Known On The Donald Trump Dossier

Gemma Styles: What Can We Expect From Our Online Worlds in 2017?

This Is How Facebook's New Fake News Policies Will Affect Your Feed

Follow Tara on Twitter @taralepore

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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