The term ‘fake news’ became viral after an exposé revealed that it had an effect on the US General Elections which is a scary position to be in. The idea that fake news could have an impact in the election is something to be worried about in this age where a lot of people are getting their news snippets from the Internet.
Since the exposé was centered on the sharing of fake news articles on Facebook, the company was under fire to stem this weed by the bud. This involved coming up with a strategy to tackle this problem and it seems they are starting to implement it in Germany.
Apparently in Germany, Facebook will now let users report news stories they suspect to be fake. This will turn be sent to a third party organization called Correctiv which if confirmed to be false, the articles will be marked as ‘disputed’ and an explanation will be given. Also, Facebook will warn users before they share the said fake news story which is in line with their plans to stem the spreading of fake news on the network.
Germany just like Kenya are having their elections in August this year and since the whole world watched how fake news had an impact on the US election, they didn’t want a situation like that in their country. They have also been hard on Facebook where they were planning huge fines for Facebook if they didn’t curtail the spread of fake news.
A spokesperson who communicated to the Financial Times about the decision confirmed that they also intend to roll out the feature to other countries. “Our focus is on Germany right now but we’re certainly thinking through what countries will unveil next.”
Kenya is one of the several countries having an election this year and it will be great if they rolled out the feature soon enough before the election. Facebook has a huge presence in Kenya (estimated to be around 6.1 million users in the country) and stemming the spreading of fake news and could have a positive impact in the curtailment of fake news in other platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram or Twitter.