Facebook to combat false news in Brazil ahead of election

A man demonstrates how he enters his Facebook page as he works on his computer at a restaurant in Brasilia, Brazil, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. Facebook is announcing initiatives in Brazil to counter false news reports that are expected to proliferate as the country heads toward October elections. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

SAO PAULO — Facebook is announcing initiatives in Brazil to counter false news reports that are expected to proliferate as the country heads toward October elections.

The social media giant says one of the projects is a free online course designed for teens, young adults and educators on how to spot and contain the spread of false stories. It will also create a Messenger bot that will tip users on online information.

The initiatives are to be in place by June, when Brazil's presidential campaign is set to accelerate.

Claudia Gurfinkel is Facebook's head of news partnerships for Latin America. She said Thursday in a statement that the initiatives are the result of discussions with academics, news literacy experts, fact-checking agencies and journalism associations.

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