Facebook as a platform can reach millions of people every day which makes it a prime platform for spreading information. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that information has to be correct, as there have been multiple examples of false information posted on Facebook in an attempt misinform the wider public.
The product manager at Facebook, Antonia Woodford, has posted the first blog post in the “Hunt for False News” series. In this post, she details three examples of false news stories and explains how they’re used to push certain agendas which commonly contain negative, xenophobic, anti-immigrant messages.
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Facebook uses an international team of third-party fact checkers who help to validate the authenticity of news stories, although if news stories are found to be false or misleading it doesn’t mean Facebook stops them from being shared completely. They will, however, take steps to “reduce its distribution in a News Feed.”
With the US Midterms just around the corner, Facebook and other social media platforms will become a battleground for users to discuss political issues. While some may be real people discussing real topics in a civilised manner, it’s well known that certain groups will be using these platforms to push agendas using any means necessary to sway opinions – anything from fake video titles and captions, to footage taken out of context or that is just plain manufactured.
Facebook has come under a lot of fire over the past year for a number of different issues, so this blog post that pulls back the curtain of the inner-workings of the firm is an interesting look. Facebook is certainly doing its best to clean up its act but if it can win back the trust of the wider consumer market remains to be seen.