IT Best Practices

Things to Know about Fake News on Facebook and Google

More often than not we have all been lured in as the victim of fake news. It is a growing issue that has really come to a head with the latest presidential election. So what do we need to know about fake news cluttering Facebook and Google? An article from Computerworld by Sharon Guadin discusses how fake news is affecting what we know about the world and what is being done about it.

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According to CEO and cofounder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerburg, “Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic.” That being said–1% is fake, and 1% of thousands viewed in a month is still an alarming number. Worse, fake stories with fraudulently sensational headlines stick in users’ brains more than the sea of honest stories. As well, it is a fact that Facebook uses algorithms to show readers more of the kind of stories they normally response to, read, and share. This too creates a higher percentage of users seeing fake stories, which is even more of a problem when a majority of Americans claim to get their news via social media.

Where does Google come into play? Well, if someone sees a new story on Facebook and wants to seek further information, where do they turn? Google. Fake stories are as well showing up in searches and Google News spots, and deception is being broadcasted.

Why can’t we simply just eliminate fake news? There are so many complications following this question. Zuckerburg has said this:

The problems here are complex, both technically and philosophically… We need to be careful not to discourage sharing of opinions or to mistakenly restrict accurate content. We do not want to be arbiters of truth ourselves, but instead rely on our community and trusted third parties.

The complications comes from whether or not we want Facebook and Google to be the deciders of what is fake news. And there is not a clear definition of what makes news fake. Could an article be fake due to one single fact, or does the article in its entirety have to be fictitious?

So far, both Facebook and Google are working out ways to sift through the garbage that is fake news. Google is working towards changing its policies so that websites that run fake content cannot use its Adsense advertising network, cutting outing a large portion of the financial benefits of creating fake news. Facebook is working on a list of changes that has the end goal of curbing the amount of fake news making its way to the site.

You can access the original article here:

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