Just because it's online, doesn't mean it's true. Below is a guideline on how to report suspected fake news on various online platforms.
Facebook has garnered a lot of attention over the past few months with several fake news stories flooding the popular social platform. Fortunately, it is simple to report these posts.
- Click the three dots icon at the top-right corner of the selected post.
- A drop-down menu will appear. Click on Find Support or Report Post.
- You will then be given a list of options. Select the option that best describes the issue you have with the post and click Next.
- Depending on the feedback provided, you will then be able to further report the post to Facebook.
You can also report an entire page that continually posts fake news:
- Go to the page you wish to report.
- Click the three dots, which can be found directly below or above the page’s cover photo.
- Select Find Support or Report Page and choose the option that best describes the issue you have with the page.
For more info on how to report not only individual posts and pages but also profiles, videos, images and direct messages, Facebook has put together a comprehensive guide.
Twitter is a busy place, with countless news stories being tweeted and retweeted every day. If you happen to come across a fake news story, here’s how to report it:
- Find the tweet you wish to report.
- Click on the three dots icon at the top of the tweet.
- A drop-down menu appears. Select Report Tweet.
- Select one of the four options that best describes the issue you have with the tweet.
- Twitter will sometimes ask you to provide more info about the tweet and why you feel it needs to be removed.
To report an account, you can do the following:
- Go to the account you wish to report.
- Click on the three dots at the top-right of the account page (on mobile) or the three dots next to the profile picture (on web).
- A drop-down menu appears. Select Report @profilename (on mobile) or Report (on web).
- Select the option that best describes the issue you have with the account.
- Once again, Twitter will require you to provide more information on the reason for reporting the account if needed.
While not as common as on Facebook and Twitter posts, Instagram also gets its fair share of fake news stories. Here’s how you can report a misleading post:
- Head over to the Instagram post you wish to report.
- Click on the three dots at the top-right of the post. Click Report.
- While Instagram doesn’t have an option for reporting fake news, you can still report it as spam.
You can also report comments underneath a post:
- Tap and hold your finger on the comment you wish to report. The selected comment will be highlighted in blue.
- At the top of the page, a speech bubble with an exclamation mark will appear.
- Once you tap the speech bubble, select Report This Comment.
- You can once again report the comment as spam.
Yes, you can report a fake news site or article to Google – and it’s very simple to do. Here’s how:
- Take a screenshot of the site or article and save it.
- On the Google search results page, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click Send Feedback.
- A dialogue box appears where you can upload the screenshot and describe why you feel the site/article needs to be removed.
- Click Send and let the Google team do the rest.
Sources: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google
** This article was originally published in November 2017 and updated in November 2020.