Remember the good old days when there was no Facebook, no internet, no TV? Obviously not, we weren’t born in that era. Even if we were, we can hardly imagine our lives without all these now.
We all have thought about how the life would’ve been then, when people used to believe everything they were told as there was no way to confirm the news, and so, the stories would go on forever & ever. But why do we need to imagine that when we’re living the same life pretty much, even with all the advancement and innumerable sources to verify a story?
I think everyone would agree if I say that this might be because our primary source of verifying a story is Facebook. If it’s trending and everybody is sharing it, reacting to it, it must be true, after all it’s the “News Feed” and not just a “Wall” anymore. Well, most of the time, it’s not true.
So let me tell you how fake news on Facebook is hampering your common senses and what Facebook is planning to do about it.
What’s happening is that Facebook is flooding with fake news about one or the other trending celebrity or topic. These fake news are the reason a lot of celebrities dying more than once and every time with a different cause and companies bearing losses for something that never actually happened and that includes Facebook itself!
“No one in our community wants fake information. We are also victims of this and we do not want it on our service.” said Zuckerberg during a town hall style meeting in North Carolina recently.
What Has Facebook Done About It?
Facebook has been removing a lot of fake accounts from the platform without any prior notice, especially after half of America believed that the source of White House leaks was in fact Donald Trump’s android device.
So, how does Facebook deal with these and verify if the news is true or not? Enter PolitiFact and Snopes.com, the two websites the world turn to when they want to verify the facts. Facebook has partnered with these sites and come up with a solution of marking such news with a disputed tag, until they’re confirmed to be true by these websites.
So, next time when you’re about to share shocking news, think first because what happens next, will shock you! (Your account might get deactivated for some time for sharing fake news!)
What’s Facebook Planning To Do Further?
Facebook said that it would hire 3,000 more moderators, almost doubling the number of people worldwide who scan for inappropriate or offensive content, especially in the live videos it is encouraging people to broadcast.
Facebook’s current attention is directed towards restricting itself from making the same mistakes, which it did in US elections, in UK elections to be held on 8th June, 2017.
The Silicon Valley giant, apart from deleting thousands of automated fake accounts in Europe, has published a series of advertisements in newspapers of Britain giving advice to users on how to spot fake news online.
Despite the efforts being made by Facebook, a lot of policy makers and journalists in Europe are questioning the abilities of Social Media platforms to fight such digital falsities, saying that Facebook knows what goes on their platform and thus should be held responsible for what happens on it.
What Do I Feel?
After Facebook admitted that fake news has existed on the platform for many years, I feel Facebook somewhere likes it this way. Obviously, Facebook does not want all the content to be on their platform, as they’ve said, but surely some of it is what Facebook wouldn’t mind having, after all, isn’t that what Facebook has always been about, engagement and sharing?
Facebook has always been keen on keeping people engaged and on the platform, which is why they came up with instant articles to keep people from redirecting to third party websites and remain on the platform. So, Facebook does like it in a lot of ways.
While I appreciate the measures taken by Facebook so far, I can tell by the looks of it that Facebook is not yet ready to take responsibility of everything that happens on their platform and hence relying on third party sites like PolitiFact and Snopes.com to confirm facts, blaming users and publishers for such contents and not coming up with a way to filter the content on their own.
What Can You Do?
Well, you can just sit back and enjoy while people come up with innovative ways to “kill a celebrity” and Facebook struggles to keep them away. Just be careful while sharing news because Facebook might suspend your account for a while for sharing a fake news provided that its partners confirm it to be fake.