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"There is a lag, so until and unless a story is flagged as false that story does continue to spread on the social network," says Mantzarlis. Image caption A screenshot of how Facebook's fact-checking system appears to users in the US and Germany In 2009, Le Monde , one of the biggest French newspapers, set up a fact-checking unit called Les Decodeurs (The Decoders). Increasingly the unit is turning its attention to fake news, and they've devised a web extension called Decodex. "You just put it on your browser and then when you come to Skip Tracer Professional a fake news site you get a pop up appearing saying Finding People Using Skip Tracing Tool 'warning this is a fake news site'," says Samuel Laurent, editor of Les Decodeurs. "If you click on the tool you will have access to a little paper describing the website and saying why we think it's not trustworthy." The extension is linked to a database that Les Decodeurs has compiled which ranks sites as "fake", "real" or "satire". But there are several hurdles which likely prevent a relatively simple piece of software from being the silver bullet for fake news. Users firstly have to be aware of the problem of false stories. They have to know about the extension and be concerned enough to download it. And they have to trust Le Monde journalists and the paper's centre-left perspective.
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