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Mace & Crown | September 20, 2017

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Social Media Cracks Down on Fake News

Audra Reigle
Assistant Technology Editor

News and social media outlets are cracking down on “fake news” after wide distribution during last year’s presidential election cycle made its dangers apparent. While the U.S. presidential election has passed and President Trump has officially taken office, other countries are gearing up for their own presidential elections. Social media outlets outside the U.S. are working to prevent false information from being spread as other countries start their election processes.

Facebook and Google have agreed to work with French news organizations to prevent fake news from being disseminated, according to Scientific American. This is after Facebook received criticism over not doing enough to prevent fake news during the U.S. presidential election last year.

The German government is also concerned “that false stories and hate speech online could influence a parliamentary election in September in which chancellor Angela Merkel will seek a fourth term in office.” Facebook has also started an initiative against fake news in Germany as well.

Even though the U.S. election cycle has come and gone, Facebook still plans to work on issues of fake news. They plan to work with Snopes, ABC News and the Associated Press to verify the authenticity of stories. Users will also be able to flag fake articles in the future.

The project has been dubbed “CrossCheck,” according to CNET. Google and Facebook are the force behind this initiative. Their goal is to help the public figure out who and what to trust on their social media and online when it comes to news. It was designed as a response to criticism faced in the wake of last year’s U.S. presidential election. For users who want some kind of solution right now, there also exists the Google Chrome add-on “This is Fake” that allows users to flag fake news in most social media.