Q: What is Facebook doing to stop misinformation from spreading? And if I see a fake news article in my news feed, how do I report it?
A: Facebook began stepping up its efforts to combat the spread of false information and hoaxes late last year in a number of ways, including working with third-party fact-checkers who adhere to a set of standard principles to flag disputed articles. The site is also tweaking its algorithms and providing tools for users to report posted stories that appear to be inaccurate. This spring, the company promoted an educational page of tips for spotting suspect stories on user news feeds and took out advertisements in British newspapers to help inform the public before that country’s general election on June 8.
When you see a link to a story that contains blatant falsehoods, click or tap the gray menu arrow in the top-right corner of the post. In the menu that drops down, select Report Post. A box appears with the headline “Help Us Understand What’s Happening.”
In the “What’s going on?” section of the box, select “It’s a false news story” and click Continue. On the next screen, Facebook offers a set of options, including “Mark this post as false news.” You can block the person who posted the story or its original website from appearing in your news feed.
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You can also report objectionable photos, harassing messages and other bad behavior to Facebook. The details for doing so are on the company’s “How to Report Things” page in its Help Center.
When you report something, Facebook does not automatically take down the item. Facebook reviews your complaint and decides if the offending post violates its own Community Standards rules on hate speech and other behavior. You can check on the status of your report in your Support Inbox (found at www.facebook.com/support) on the site.
The end of the road for some apps
Q: I’m getting a message on some of my iPad apps saying they won’t work on the next version of iOS. What — and why — is this?
A: Simply put, Apple updates its operating system and hardware processors regularly, but older apps that have not kept up with the changes will be too outdated to run on the new iOS software expected later this year. The move is not unprecedented. Both Apple and Microsoft have abandoned support for programs that did not evolve along with the Mac and Windows operating systems and hardware.
In 2013, with the introduction of the iPhone 5s and iOS 7, Apple began to switch its mobile hardware and software from the older 32-bit processors and operating systems to more advanced 64-bit versions. (As with desktop systems, the terms 32-bit and 64-bit refer to the amount of data the processor can handle.) In 2015, the company began to require that new apps and new app updates include support for 64-bit systems.
As Apple fully transitions its hardware and software to the 64-bit world, older apps still stuck in a 32-bit world will be left behind. Apple has begun to warn users about these older apps with the alerts you have already seen.
You can find a list of all the apps that are destined for involuntary retirement in iOS 11 by opening the Settings icon on the Home screen, selecting General, then About and tapping Applications.
Some apps on the list may have been abandoned by their creators, but others may have alternate, updated versions in the App Store — or will in the future. (For new editions, you may have to purchase the app again.) If you do not see any app upgrades available, search for the old app by name to see what alternative programs the App Store offers.