Facebook launched a major print ad campaign in the United Kingdom aimed at combating the online dissemination of fake news, The Financial Times reports. The advertising campaign officially started on Monday and consists of full-page ads in many major print publications in the country including The Guardian, Telegraph, Metro, and Times. Like many of Facebook's previous attempts to tackle the issue of factually inaccurate, misleading, and false news stories, the company's new print ad campaign is seeking to educate users about this troubling phenomenon and prompt them to critically consider all online news stories that are potentially scandalous or contain otherwise worrying information.
The ads that have started appearing in British print publications as of today contain the same tips that the Menlo Park-based social media giant already published in April as part of its latest attempt to minimize the effects of fake news shared on its online platform. The company recently ran an almost identical print advertising campaign in France between the two rounds of the French presidential election, the second one of which was concluded just yesterday. Likewise, the newly launched campaign is meant to alleviate any effects that false news stories might have on the upcoming UK general election that's scheduled to take place on June 8. Apart from France and the UK, Facebook previously paid for a similar anti-fake news campaign in Germany, and recent developments suggest that the social media giant is adamant to continue with this practice in the future.
The issue of fake news initially came into the spotlight in late 2016 following the United States presidential election that some believed was partially influenced by a plethora of false news stories that were spread through social media platforms. While the company's co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg initially dismissed that notion, he quickly changed his mind as Facebook soon announced a wide variety of new measures designed to combat the dissemination of such stories on its platform. As part of its efforts to do so, the company recently hired a Head of News Products, which is a new position within the firm that's not only responsible for creating new services but is also tasked with improving Facebook's existing ones with the goal of diminishing the impact of false news stories.