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UK calls on Facebook to tackle fake news before election

British Parliament member wants Facebook to deal with inaccurate or offensive material before the UK's snap election in June.

Fake news stories could influence voters in the upcoming election, a British politician warns.
Daniel Sorabji/AFP/Getty Images

As British voters prepare to head to the polls in six weeks, a member of Parliament is calling for Facebook to tackle fake news that could influence the election.

Conservative MP Damian Collins, chairman of the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee, said Facebook should act faster to remove or label fabricated stories shared by users.

Speaking to the Guardian on Wednesday, Collins warned that people who get their news from Facebook "could be voting based on lies."

Facebook is working with journalists to help people learn how to spot legitimate news. "Improving news literacy is a global priority," a Facebook spokesperson told CNET on Wednesday. "False news runs counter to our mission to connect people with the stories that they find meaningful. This is an evolving challenge and we understand that we need to do our part to help people understand how to make decisions about which sources to trust."

Fake news continues concern governments, companies and citizens worldwide. In Germany, the government plans to fine social networks like Facebook and Twitter if they don't deal with inaccurate news and hate speech. Google, meanwhile, is changing how search results appear to prioritise news from legitimate sources over inaccurate or offensive material.

The general election, called last week by Prime Minister Theresa May, will take place on 8 June.