Misc

Facebook Update Shows Which People Share Fake News

While the Cambridge Analytica scandal is fresh on everyone’s mind, social media giant Facebook still faces several other issues. From the incendiary leaked memo to the spread of fake news, Facebook has been dealing with a lot of public frustration. However, only a few months after the U.S. Government and users questioned Facebook for failing to stop the spread of fake news, the company has rolled out an update designed to limit fake news.

This updated allows you to decided whether or not an article is legitimate based on some compiled information. It will not only let you see who shared the news, but if you click on the new “i” icon, you will view a Wikipedia synopsis of the publication and a map of where the article is being shared. With this information, Facebook leaves it up to you to decide how trustworthy it is.

The first time Facebook started fighting fake news and clickbait, the company experimented with its “Related Articles.” Users could see alternative articles from another publication under the posted article. This was an attempt to give readers a more balanced viewpoint.

Instead, this design focuses on illustrating how the article in question spread through your network. In short, it’s a tool to see which of your friends constantly fall for clickbait and misinformation. According to Facebook, the features were created “with feedback and input from a diverse set of people and publishers, including many participants in the Facebook Journalism Project,” though it remains to be seen how effective they can be.

Facebook is test driving in the U.S. for now, but if it is satisfactory in stemming fake news, it could be pushed to European users as well.

For those wanting to see exactly why Facebook decided to fight fake news this way, the company posted an insightful article on the design process. They also raised a few interesting questions to ponder upon, like: “How might people respond to particular signals within the design of News Feed?” and “What unique objective information is Facebook best positioned to provide?”

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