PH media groups release Facebook fake news blocker
MANILA, Philippines – The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has released a plug-in for Google Chrome designed to block fake news.
Called "Fakeblok," the plug-in "blocks articles from fake news sites on your Facebook newsfeed," the NUJP said in a Facebook post announcing the tool on Wednesday, June 7.
"We cannot believe everything that we read. We need to constantly question. We need to reclaim the truth. We need to reclaim our newsfeeds," said the NUJP. (READ: Wary of fake news? These Chrome extensions might help).
The tool also lets users submits sites that they believe share fake news. "If you come across something on your Facebook newsfeed that you feel is fake news, you can report it to Fakeblok. A team of journalists will look into your concern. And if verified, the website will be added to the Fakeblok list of sites," the FakeBlok page on the Chrome Web Store states.
"The list of sites that tend to post fake news is moderated and maintained by a group of independent media professionals, in cooperation with the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)," the FakeBlok page added. (READ: 'Hoax Analyzer' wins at Microsoft software development contest)
Fakeblok grays out Facebook posts from fake news sites that are on the CMFR's list. The tool also displays a message, saying that site has been flagged, but the user still has the option to access the link through an "I'll read it anyway" option. Users can also choose to read more about the flagging through the "Click for more info" option.
Currently, the tool is focused on servicing the Philippines but can also work for other countries facing the problem of fake news, said the Fakeblok page.
FakeBlok is not the first Chrome extension attempting to identify fake news on Facebook. A few other examples are "BS Detector," "Fake News Alert," "FiB" – all Google Chrome plug-ins or extensions that try to show users when a link, story, or page is fake.
A group of Indonesian students won a 2017 Microsoft hackathon with their "Hoax Analyzer," which allows users to check the veracity of a news story based on information collected from search results.
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