Facebook’s Battle with Fake News

Facebook is a platform for everyone. People young and old, all across the world use this site to connect, update, share pictures, news, and much more. But one thing that has become more relevant now more than ever is the presence of “fake news”. Now what is fake news? Well it can be a lot of things, it can be an article from a site that isn’t credible which is for one thing, probably where most of its problems are coming from. Or it can be something as simple as a headline;”Bill Cosby has Passed Away” which, (true story) my mother believed and made an entire post about it (very awkward and slightly embarrassing), sorry mom. The New York Times wrote an article called: Facebook Mounts Effort to Limit Tide of Fake News,¬†discussing the matters of fake news and how Facebook plans to handle it over the course of the next few months.

As the problem progresses, Facebook has tried to take a stand, considering they are taking the heat for it. But with that comes so many issues, Facebook is a company where you are free to voice your opinions so by censoring what its users see, can be slightly contradicting in a way. But while the company is under scrutiny for the issue, people are now claiming that Facebook could have swayed the results of the election (what!?). Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook says that is basically outrageous that people think the content of Facebook influenced election results. But this is not the only type of fake content happening in the world of Facebook.

“Click bait” is another widely used term by the site’s users which in broader terms, is basically a link or article that has a title that draws you in and has little to nothing to do with the content of the article. Let me tell you, I have fallen victim to this many times and still do, it’s very disappointing when you see a juicy headline and it is LITERALLY nothing about what it said it was. But now, they have made it easier for users to report fake news. As of right now, people are given an option to report or flag something they see but it there is no option to call it fake news or attach a reason to why they “don’t want to see it on their Facebook” anymore. Facebook is in the process of having flagged articles and content fact-checked to make sure more real news is staying up, and less fake news is. Another initiative they are taking are ranking articles that are just “read”over “shared”.The articles that are only read will have a lower ranking, making it less likely to show up on your friend’s newsfeed as a suggested article.

Although Facebook is in the early stages of experimenting with the new ways of coping with the fake news that spreads around Facebook, I think they are doing a good job of trying to minimize it. I know I hate when I see things that aren’t real or have a deceiving headline so as a user I completely understand and really agree that it needs to be dealt with. But until then, I guess I will continue to read about more celebrity deaths that aren’t real and political nonsense that people believe and share all over.

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