As the UK election draws near, Facebook is cleaning house. The social media giant is taking two major steps to combat false news at a critical moment: deleting accounts and buying ad space in newspapers.
The “fake news” ads are running in The Times, The Guardian, and The Daily Telegraph. This isn’t the first time Facebook has taken the fight against false news to old school media. It did the same thing ahead of the French election. The content of the two offline campaigns appears to be largely the same, with Facebook giving 10 warning signs to help spot unconfirmed or unsourced news stories.
Facebook also told BBC that it’s purged “tens of thousands” of fake accounts. Again, this is something it’s done before as part of an effort to stop the spread of false news. In a follow-up with TechCrunch, Facebook said it’s using new tools to detect these accounts, such as spotting repeat content of posts and message spamming:
With these changes, we expect we will also reduce the spread of material generated through inauthentic activity, including spam, misinformation, or other deceptive content that is often shared by creators of fake accounts.
The UK’s general election is on June 8.