Facebook Launches Tools to Fight Disinformation in France

Facebook Launches Tools to Fight Disinformation

Meta Platforms is wasting no time fighting what it calls misinformation on its company-owned Facebook pages in advance of the French presidential election, according to a Wednesday (Feb. 16) announcement.

The tech giant has launched a series of steps to help voters better deal with online information about the race, the announcement stated. France is set to vote twice in April on whether to give President Emmanuel Macron a second five-year term or choose another candidate. The first round of voting is scheduled for April 10.

“As part of the election campaigns, we are deploying several local initiatives … to further strengthen our efforts in terms of media education and share with users the best practices to adopt when they are faced with information online,” Meta said in the announcement.

Meta pledged in the announcement that Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp will raise awareness of good practices in the face of information. In addition, it promised to strengthen media literacy for users to critically examine information they see to fight against fake news.

Under one of the initiatives, WhatsApp users in France can report any potential false information to the Agence France-Presse (AFP), a state-owned international news agency headquartered in Paris. The news outlet can then respond by sharing an article verifying this information, according to the announcement.

In another, MediaWise, a Poynter Institute project crafted to empower people of all ages to become more critical consumers of content online, will launch in France next week in partnership with France 24, a state-owned international news television network based in Paris, the announcement stated.

Last week, media regulators in the European Union were considering rules designed to end misinformation on Spotify.

Read more: EU Media Regulators Seek Rules to End Misinformation on Spotify

The Swedish audio streaming and media services provider has been facing criticism for failing to deal with health- and climate-related falsehoods as well as hate speech on its platform.