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.
5. This Is Fake by Slate
Slate developed a Chrome extension called This Is Fake that will help debunk and identify fake news and prevent it from spreading online. Slate manages a database of flagged sites and links and uses this to determine the fake news online. Based on the website of Slate, the unique feature of this extension is that it not only flags the bogus news on your feed but it can also redirect you to a reliable article debunking the story in question.
You can download This Is Fake here.
6. FiB: Stop Living a Lie
The developers of FiB (L-R) Anant Goel, Nabanita De, Quinglin Chen, and Mark Craft
During a hackathon at Princeton University and over the course of 36 hours, four students created a chrome extension that filters fake news on your Facebook feed. According to their website, FiB notifies you of fake news sites on your feed in real time with its fact check using image recognition, keyword extraction, and source verification. If a story is verified, a blue box with “verified” on the upper right of the post will appear. If it’s fake, “not verified” will appear instead.
You can download FiB here.
7. B.S. Detector
B.S. Detector works on detecting sites with fake news as you scroll through your Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. It will show a tag that says “this website is considered a questionable source.” Powered by OpenSources, it uses a list of unreliable news sources as a reference point. It still gives you a choice on whether you want to read the news and share it or you want to ignore it.
You can get B.S. Detector here.
8. Media Bias Fact Check
Media Bias, according to their website, is an independent online media outlet dedicated to educating the public on media bias and deceptive news practices. This extension can help you when you are in a website with questionable news; you can just click the MB/FC icon in Chrome and it will tell you what kind of bias the website has based on MB/FC methodology (least, left, right, center, or extreme).
You can download Media Bias Fact Check here.
There are a lot of ways to spread fake news but fortunately for us in this age, there’s an equal amount of ways to prevent it from spreading. Let’s all be intelligent citizens and be responsible for what we read and what we choose to share on social media. Aren’t you excited to scroll through a clean news feed?
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