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BBC Reality Check team to expose social media ‘fake news’ stories

Friday, January 13, 2017 3:26
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Believe it or not the BBC is going into the Ministry of Truth business. Perhaps it’s well-intentioned now but there’s always a risk of mission creep. The inference that the BBC’s own news is never misleading is interesting.
H/T Lord Beaverbrook

The BBC is to create a dedicated team which will identify and expose “fake news” stories being shared on Facebook and other social media, reports INews. The BBC said it was not seeking to “police the internet”.

But its Reality Check team will identify and correct the most egregious examples of fabricated stories and outright “lies” circulated by fake news sites.

James Harding, BBC Director of News and Current Affairs, told staff: “The BBC can’t edit the internet, but we won’t stand aside either. We will fact check the most popular outliers on Facebook, Instagram and other social media.”

He added: “We are working with Facebook, in particular, to see how we can be most effective. Where we see deliberately misleading stories masquerading as news, we’ll publish a Reality Check that says so.” Facebook has rolled out new features designed to combat “fake news”, including the referral of contested stories to third-party organisations.

The BBC believes it can employ the credibility of its news organisation to assist Facebook. However the corporation said it would not target stories published by “mainstream” media such as UK newspapers.

The Reality Check team, which currently promises to “cut through the spin and uncover the facts” behind contentious issues such as Brexit, will be beefed up for its expanded new role.‘Not policing the internet’A BBC source said: “We won’t be policing the internet or Facebook. We’re talking about the sort of stories that get heavily shared on Facebook, but are in fact not true and are not from authentic news sites.”

INews report continues: here


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