Over the last few months the spread of misinformation in the form of fake news became rampant on social media. In a place where everybody can post about anything and make it look real, who’s to say the online news articles you’re reading aren’t legit? Sure, we’re used to identifying real news from fake in tabloids and newspapers, but online is a different case. In the rise of all these bogus sites, addressing this problem has become crucial more than ever before; more people can be fooled in sharing fake content and just letting it breed online.
In the fight against the spread of fake news, a lot of developers have created extensions and special features to prevent users and alert them whenever they venture or scroll over the unreliable news sites. Aren’t we just glad that there are people who dedicate so much time doing this?
FakeBlok is a Chrome extension that was launched by Filipino journalists to block articles from Facebook feeds and from fake news sites. This was developed in collaboration between the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility. FakeBlok highlights the fake news in gray on your newsfeed. You can also submit sites that you think share fake news, to be checked by an independent group of Filipino journalists.
You can download FakeBlok here.
Facebook has a feature that flags fake news and puts a warning tag saying that the link is disputed by reliable fact-checking sites. Users still have the freedom to share the link but there will be a pop up indicating that the news is deemed unreliable by independent fact-checkers. Users can also report fake news stories they see by clicking on the top right of the post and clicking “It’s a fake news story.” Flagged posts then can never be promoted or made into an advertisement.
As most of fake news can be shared on social media, a lot of fake news could be found on Facebook. The website announced its plans to get rid of fake news and hoaxes in the news feed after it was accused of circulating misleading information from an unreliable source about President Donald Trump during the campaign for U.S. Elections 2016.
3. Google Fact Check
In order to combat the rise of fake news online, Google, the most popular search engine, launched its own fact-checking feature. The feature is in the form of a label in the search result to let users know if the particular article is legitimate or not. According to Google, the label that will appear on the results page will identify articles that include information fact checked by news publishers and fact-checking organizations. Google is expanding the feature into Search globally in all languages.
David Mikkelson started Snopes in 1994 as a website for clearing up urban legends, folklore, and the likes. Since then, it has evolved to be one of the largest fact checking sites on the internet, helping clear up rumors springing from memes and fake news stories.