Ever since the US presidential elections concluded, Facebook has been under criticism for being an avenue to spread biased news. As such, fake news on Facebook has been a sensitive topic with the public and with the company. Nevertheless, the social media company has just rolled out its new feature that will help curb the spread.
Saying Hello Fake News On Facebook
As noted by NBC News, the new feature does not actually remove fake news. Instead, it flags certain articles that have been dubbed false by a third-party company. The tag was first announced in December, but it is only now that it is often seen on users’ News Feeds.
The first step is for Facebook users to flag the article as false. After which, it is researched on by a third party. The company has enlisted the help of Snopes, Politifact and FactCheck.Org. If it is determined that the news is indeed fake, it will be permanently flagged as such. However, it will not be removed nor will users be disallowed to share the same. Instead, individuals will simply be notified before posting.
The Risk Of Spreading Fake News
It is unclear at this point whether Facebook’s efforts will be fruitful. As JournalistsResource.Org has noted, this will be difficult particularly because fake news can sometimes be profitable for content makers. Moreover, individuals do not necessarily know that it is fake news they are spreading. And it is in this sense that noting what fake articles can come in.
The most dangerous risk is the spread of misinformation. Unfortunately, hearing a piece of news will influence the public, whether negatively or positively. And when the decision is put in the hands of the public, fake news can become a strong and unstoppable force.
Fake News On Facebook: A Driver In US Politics?
The issue of fake news reached an all-time high during the US presidential election. Facebook was criticized for being an avenue that spread biased news articles. Half-truths were used and to influence the American voting public. Through it all, Mark Zuckerberg reasoned that the social media network was not responsible for the effect that fake news had on the elections.
Nevertheless, the company has made efforts in at least flagging these types of articles. However, it is still staying true to the premise that it is a place where individuals can share what they want, when they want.