* Anti fake-news tools already set up for U.S., Germany
* Concerns that fake news could influence French election
PARIS, Feb 6 (Reuters) - 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)