Facebook deletes thousands of accounts ahead of British election

Facebook is taking new steps to curb fake news ahead of Britain's election in June.

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LONDON — Facebook says it has deleted tens of thousands of accounts in Britain ahead of the June 8 general election in a drive to battle fake news.

The tech giant also took out newspaper advertisements in Britain's media offering advice on how to spot such stories. The ads suggest that readers should be "skeptical of headlines," and to "look closely at the URL."

The company says it has made improvements to help them detect fake news accounts more effectively.

The latest move comes one month after Facebook completed a massive purge of accounts associated with "a sophisticated spam operation," according to the company. A CBS News analysis of 24 news publisher pages found more than eight million "likes" were lost in the abrupt clean-out. USA Today has asked the FBI to investigate the fake accounts.

Simon Milner, the tech firm's U.K. director of policy, says Facebook wants to get to the "root of the problem" and is working with outside organizations to fact check and analyze content around the election.

In December, amid questions about the role viral fake news may have had on the U.S. election, Facebook announced it had enlisted the help of the highly respected journalism organization the Poynter Institute to independently investigate and flag suspicious stories on its platform. 

Milner says Facebook is "doing everything we can to tackle the problem of false news."

The British election coming up on June 8 has particularly high stakes: Prime Minister Theresa May called the vote earlier than required to seek a strong mandate as she begins to negotiate Britain's exit from the European Union.