Inside Story

Can fake news on social media be stopped?

Facebook says it has developed a tool to give users more context on what they read.

There is no doubt that fake news has become one of the key terms of 2017, brought into the spotlight after the US presidential election last November.

It was soon clear thousands of people were unintentionally sharing articles full of misinformation.

The resulting paranoia led people to accuse once trusted sources, including The New York Times, of carrying fake news. And social media is a core part of the problem.

Facebook is trying to do something about that. It is testing a new feature called the “i” button. When clicked, it gives the reader more information about the article they are reading.

The idea is to give people context about their news sources, so they can decide if articles are from publishers they trust, and if the stories themselves are credible.

But Facebook admits it is not always easy to flush out fiction from fact.

So, how do we deal with this modern-day reality? And where does it leave social media?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Alastair Reid – social media journalist

Sebastian Moss – technology reporter for Datacenter Dynamics

Tom Law – Director of Campaigns and Communications, The Ethical Journalism Network