Jun 8, 2017

We’re halfway through 2017. It’s the digital age. It’s the age of freedom. With the availability of the internet, however, it’s also the age of misinformation. There’s widespread clickbait headlines all over Facebook. This year, the issue has been about the plague that is fake news.

Fortunately, you don’t need to deactivate your Facebook account to escape from toxic fake news. National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) collaborated to create a Google Chrome plug-in called Fakeblok. The plug-in calls your attention when you encounter fake news on your Facebook feed.


Screengrab from Chrome Web Store

“This list of links is curated, fact-checked and monitored by a group of independent media professionals,” the overview on Chrome Web Store reads.


Most of the time, I use Facebook to view recreational videos. I usually get news on TV and through news apps. However, fake news is the new viral and you’d come across it from time to time.

Today, I added the plug-in to see how it works. It’s free and fairly easy to install. Since my friends on Facebook share responsibly, I checked CMFR’s list of fake news sites. And yes, Faceblok flags news shared from fake news site.


Screengrab from Facebook


Screengrab from Facebook

However, Faceblok doesn’t work like a firewall. Faceblok only informs you whether that news item on your feed is from a fake news site, but you still have the option to read it. If ever you come across a fake news item that isn’t flagged, you can also report it through Faceblok’s site.

“We cannot believe everything that we read. We need to constantly question. We need to reclaim the truth. We need to reclaim our newsfeeds,” NUJP told Inquirer.net.

Gone are the Facebook’s Pet Society and Farm Ville days. It is now a powerful tool. As Spiderman said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” So, you better  be more discerning with what you like and share.

Read more:
The citizen journalist’s guide to breaking news
The power of clicktivism
The path of responsible reportage according to journalist Jamela Alindogan


TAGS: Faceblok Facebook Fake news nolisoli.ph