**London: ** To combat the spread of fake news, Facebook is introducing new tools in Germany that would enable users to flag potentially false stories.
According to a report in BBC on Sunday, the flagged stories will then be passed to third-party fact-checkers and if found to be unreliable, they will be marked in users’ news feeds as “disputed”.
Since its announcement of features against fake news spread, this move is a first such major expansion by Facebook.
“Last month we announced measures to tackle the challenge of fake news on Facebook,” Facebook was quoted as saying in a German-language statement.
Facebook has been widely criticised for its alleged role in spreading fake news that favoured the win of President-elect Donald Trump in the US-elections.
“German government officials have expressed concern that misinformation on the internet could influence the country’s parliamentary election this year,” the report noted.
In Germany, Facebook has been warned against the spread of fake news and asked to respect the country’s defamation laws.
Recently, Buzzfeed found that Facebook pages had published fake stories about German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is seeking re-election.
Facebook users in Germany will now be able to select ‘It’s a fake news story’ as an option when reporting another user’s post.
“They can then mark the post as fake news, let the other user know they think it is fake, or block that user. Facebook will send potentially fake stories to Correctiv, a German non-profit body of investigative journalists, to check the facts,” the report added.
To verify news on its platform, Facebook is already testing the system with some fact-checkers in the US.