Taking action against Fake News

UN Human Rights Council, 04/01/2022:

"In a resolution ( A/HRC/49/L.31/Rev.1) on the Role of States in countering the negative impact of disinformation on the enjoyment and realization of human rights , adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council decides to convene, at its fiftieth session, a high-level panel discussion on countering the negative impact of disinformation on the enjoyment and realization of human rights and on ensuring a human rights-based response, open to the participation of States, members of civil society and the private sector, United Nations experts and other stakeholders, to identify the challenges and to share best practices and lessons learned, and to make the panel discussion fully accessible to persons with disabilities. The Council further requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a summary report on the above-mentioned panel discussion and to present it to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-second session."


"Fake News" is a global problem, and countries around the world are handling the issue differently. The map below shows what type of action has been taken by various countries. You can use the link to the Poynter Institute to get more information on each these countries' fights against misinformation.

A color-coded map showing government actions against online misinformation by continent. America shows bills and task force efforts. Europe displays a wide range of actions including laws, task forces, and reports. Africa is diverse, with laws and media literacy. Asia mainly shows laws, internet shutdowns, and investigations.

What Social Media is doing about Fake News - Internet Matters

Google invests to help fight coronavirus misinformation

In April 2020 Google announced that they were investing $6.5 million in funding to fact-checkers and non-profits fighting misinformation around the world, with an immediate focus on coronavirus.

- Information from Internet Matters

Facebook Fact-checking initiative

To tackle the spread of misinformation on Facebook and Instagram, Facebook launched its first fact-checking initiative in December 2016. Since then, the programme is now in a range of countries around the world. Facebook works with a range of certified independent third-party fact-checking organisations in each country. The focus of the fact-checking programme is “identifying and addressing viral misinformation, particularly clear hoaxes that have no basis in fact.”

The programme involves the following:

  • Identifying false news by using a range of signals like feedback from people on Facebook
  • Reviewing content for accuracy
  • Ensuring fewer people see misinformation by rating content False, Altered or Partly False so it appears less prominently on Feeds or Stories and rejecting ads with content that has been rated accordingly
  • Acting against repeat offenders in the form of restrictions on their page or account

To learn more about the programme visit: Fact-checking on Facebook 

In addition to this initiative, Facebook has also taken the following action:

- Information from Internet Matters

YouTube COVID-19 Medical Misinformation Policy

YouTube introduced a policy which tackles content that contradicts World Health Organization (WHO) or local health authorities’ guidance on issues related to the treatment, prevention, diagnostic or transmission of Covid-19.

Tackling disinformation across Google products

Google also produced a White Paper in the early part of 2019 which lays out their commitment to tackling the intentional spread of misinformation across Google Search, Google News, YouTube, and their advertising systems. It focuses on three foundational pillars:

  • Improving products so they continue to make quality count;
  • Counteract malicious actors seeking to spread disinformation;
  • Giving people context about the information they see.

The White Paper also explains how they work beyond our products to support a healthy journalistic ecosystem, partner with civil society and researchers, and stay one step ahead of future risks.

- Information from Internet Matters

TikTok uses a three-step approach to combat misinformation

To keep misleading information and deceptive content and accounts from the platform, TikTok launched three measures:

1. Enhancing its misinformation policies

The updated Community Guidelines prohibit misinformation that could cause harm to the TikTok community or the larger public, including content that misleads people about elections or other civic processes, content distributed by disinformation campaigns, and health misinformation. These updates were developed with industry experts, and the language reflects input from members of their Content Advisory Council.

2. Expanding reporting options and fact-checking

In addition to working with their Content Advisory Council, which includes experts on deep fakes, free speech, inclusive AI, and more, they partnered with PolitiFact and Lead Stories to fact check potential misinformation related to the 2020 US election.

3. Countering foreign interference

Ahead of the 2020 Presidential election they also worked with the US Countering Foreign Influence Task Force (CFITF) to help stop the threat and dangers of foreign influence on elections.

Learn more about these initiatives here.

- Information from Internet Matters

Snapchat working with publishers to provide trusted news

To help young people on their platform access trusted news, Snapchat’s Discover section which is the professional news and entertainment section is carefully curated by an editorial team. They carefully consider who should be featured in the section to make sure the information that is featured is credible.

- Information from Internet Matters