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With coronavirus pandemic affecting its operations, Facebook teaches users how to spot fake news

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The coronavirus pandemic has hampered companies around the world, and Facebook is no exception. The tech giant, which had relied on human moderators and artificial intelligence to remove fake news, is giving its more than 2 billion users around the world tips on what to look for.

"We are committed to reducing the spread of false news on Facebook," Facebook wrote in a blog post. "We remove fake accounts and disrupt economic incentives for people that share misinformation."

The Mark Zuckerberg-led company said that it also uses feedback from the community, as well as independent third-party fact-checkers, to rank pages or domains lower if they share misinformation, going so far as to potentially "remove their advertising rights."

(Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)


Here are the tips Facebook has provided on how to spot fake news and limit its spread.

Be skeptical of headlines. Facebook said these stories "often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points," adding that if a headline is too good to be true, it probably is.

Look closely at the link. Double-check to make sure the link is from a reputable news website. Many phony sources have small changes in their links, often changing one small part in an attempt to trick people.

Investigate the source. If you're not sure about the source, check its "About" section to make sure it's reputable.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company issued several other guidelines, including watching for "unusual formatting," such as misspellings or layouts; manipulating images or videos, checking dates of the events; the author's sources; checking other news outlets to see if the news has been reported elsewhere; differentiating satire and news; and stories that are "intentionally false."


Facebook has also started several other initiatives to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month, it announced it would launch a $100 million program consisting of cash grants and ad credits in an effort to help small businesses.

It is also giving every one of its nearly 45,000 employees a $1,000 bonus to assist them during the ongoing pandemic.

As of Friday morning, there have been more than 542,000 reported cases of COVID-19, including at least 85,000 in the U.S., which has surpassed Italy and China to become the most affected country in the world.


Fox News' Christopher Carbone contributed to this story.

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