Facebook Releases First Canadian Election Integrity Video

Facebook has released a new update in their attempt to stop the spread of fake news.

The social media giant has introduced several changes recently in support of their Canadian Election Integrity Initiative, and today Facebook’s first collaborative video with MediaSmarts has been released.

The video outlines easy ways for Canadians to determine whether or not the story they are reading is fake or has false information. A tip sheet has also been released to help readers stop the spread of misinformation and false journalism.

“Facebook plays an important role in facilitating public dialogue, which is why we’re committed to making it a safe and secure environment for authentic civic engagement,” said Kevin Chan, head of public policy at Facebook Canada. “We’ve partnered with MediaSmarts to help Canadians make more informed decisions in the lead up to the next election, as digital literacy is critical to preventing the spread of false news.”

The steps are easy to follow and look to make the process of validating news as simple as possible, so anyone from a teenager to a senior can follow along and maintain an unbiased view of current events.

  • Check the original source and see if the author actually exists and whether or not they have a reputable track record of accurate reporting.
  • Use fact-checking sites to see if a story is true. Facebook recommends Snopes for stories and TinEye for images. Reverse image and video searches are particularly important as a lot of false info can be spread through very shareable pictures. Alternatively, search any headlines along with the words “hoax” or “scam” to see if it is real.
  • Always think before sharing, and make sure the stories being spread are real and won’t misinform a friend or colleague. Sometimes that extra bit of digging can go a long way

“Our research shows that Canadians are more likely to trust news shared by their family and friends on social media,” said Matthew Johnson, director of education for MediaSmarts. “That’s why it’s so important we take a minute to make sure a story is true before we pass it on.”

This video is the first one to be released as part of Facebook’s two-year digital news literacy partnership called “Reality Check” with MediaSmarts. MediaSmarts is a non-profit centre that has been producing materials around the authentication of information for Canadian homes and classrooms for over 20 years.

When Facebook announced their Canadian Election integrity Initiative, the first tips to come out were based on account protection and cybersecurity. It seems that the social media company will continue to introduce smaller steps designed to gradually tackle fake news leading up to the October 2019 Canadian federal election.