Facebook’s ‘fake’ real news

As we said in last week’s blog, we’ve all fallen for a piece of fake news, and we can all agree that it’s one of the most annoying things in the world!


Well, Facebook has continued its attempts to legitimise itself as a credible news source, attempting to combat the scourge of fake news by handing the power to its users, who would comment whether a story was fake. Facebook’s algorithm would pick out comments that include words such as ‘lie’ or ‘fake’, and prioritise the comments to the top of the news feed.


At first glance it seems like a great idea, but the experiment failed spectacularly, as reputable news organisations such as the BBC, The Guardian and the New York Times were all being falsely labelled as fake.
Facebook released a statement, saying this was a small test that had concluded, and that the company would “keep working to find new ways to help our community make more informed decisions about what they read and share.”


What the experiment failed to acknowledge was that many people (Donald Trump included) tend to apply the phrase fake news to anything they disagree with! Facebook users are an emotional and subjective bunch and therefore possibly not the best judges of credibility. There’s also those who are just plain mischievous and probably couldn’t miss the opportunity to ruin a Facebook experiment. The lesson? Know your audience.

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