* Anti fake-news tools already set up for U.S., Germany
* Concerns that fake news could influence French election
PARIS Feb 6 Social media company Facebook
launched on Monday an initiative to tackle fake news
stories in France, with the media in the spotlight as the
country's presidential election approaches.
Facebook said on Monday that it would work with several
leading French news organisations, including Agence France
Presse, BFM TV, L'Express and Le Monde among others to ensure
that false news items were not published on its platform.
Facebook has faced criticism that it did not do enough to
prevent false information being republished on its platform
during last year's U.S presidential campaign, and in response
has set up measures to try to tackle the problem.
There have been similar concerns that people could
disseminate false information on Facebook in the build-up to the
French election, which takes place in April and May.
In the United States, Facebook said users would find it
easier to flag fake articles on their News Feed as a hoax, and
added that it will work with organizations such as fact-checking
website Snopes, ABC News and the Associated Press to check the
authenticity of stories.
Last month, Facebook also set up an anti fake-news
initiative in Germany, where government officials had expressed
concerns that fake news and "hate speech" on the Internet could
influence a parliamentary election in September in which
chancellor Angela Merkel will seek a fourth term in office.
(Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by
Dominique Vidalon and Dominic Evans)