Facebook pledges to get rid of misinformation


Facebook has been under fire for spreading misinformation on social media. The issue of misinformation came forward during the United States elections. It started with the bizarre headline that, “FBI Agent suspected in Hillary email leaks found dead”. The outrageous headline gave rise to people condemning Facebook over spreading misinformation which would mislead the masses. Since a lot of people consume their news from social media this has become a larger problem. People rely on Facebook, Twitter and other social media applications for their update on what is happening around the globe. In recent, Facebook predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the elections but the poll results were otherwise leading being to be highly skeptical of social media news.

The social media forum, Facebook, is under a lot of heat for spreading false information on its network. In a recent transition, the company got rid of its human curators of news and replaced it with algorithms which sort out news on the newsfeed through data processes. Algorithms cannot detect false information or misleading headline that accurately as humans could which has lead to many false news fiascos on the website. Earlier when the issue rose to public forum Facebook owner, Mark Zuckerberg had been very dismissive about the misinformation. He claimed that fake news only accounted for less than one percent of all the posts on user newsfeed. However, more investigation on the issue by other organizations led to otherwise. Even if the bulk news does not make a large quantity on Facebook newsfeed but it spreads like wildfire.

More and more users are switching to Facebook for news

Zuckerberg has acknowledged the issue and has vowed to fix it. There is a stronger machine learning system in progress that would detect misinformation on the social media website. He also proposed content warning for fake stories for the users, for example it is already working on ad program to eliminate fake news reports from its website. The company is actively trying to eliminate the issue of clickbait as well-which are traffic generation websites.

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The recent elections have brought forward the problem of having no gatekeepers on social media. This calls for regulations by authorities and other news outlets. Without gatekeepers, the yellow journalism is taking over the internet which is profitable for some but is havoc for others. Facebook also plans to bring back third party vetting which will overlook its trending topics. It is unsure what sort of third party checking would be brought back but it seems that the company might bring human curators back. Getting a public editor is also a viable option for Facebook which would overlook the news publish and be answerable to the any sort of mishap that may occur.

Image via Mashable