Facebook has been under fire for spreading fake news, lately. The American president elections are a glimpse on how bad the social networking site is at detecting fake news. Today, Facebook fell in trap to its safety check algorithm. The social networking site activated its Safety check feature after fake news hit the newsfeed. The social networking website fell to floods of news that pointed out to an explosion in Bangkok, Thailand.
In short, Facebook fell victim to its own algorithm. The company is also been under fire for using algorithms as curators of the newsfeed. Users in Thailand report to seeing the feature of “marking themselves safe” from the event. However, they saw little details about when the event happened or where the “explosion” took place in Bangkok. The safety check feature came on at around 9 pm local time. It was deactivated an hour later. The news back links to a story on Bangkok informer. The story was originally published in 2015. It reported on the Erawan Shrine bombing as the Bangkok explosion by the algorithm.
Facebook Safety Check feature falsely turns on, again
In November, the company said that its Safety Check feature will be triggered by algorithms. The aim of these algorithms is to crawl through trending news and posts by users in that area. It would then give an idea about what is happening. The algorithm uses third party enterprise to fact check the news before turning on the Safety Check feature. According to one of the engineers who helped develop it, there would be little or no possibility of false positives.
This is not the first incident where Safety Check came on. In March this year, the social networking site alerted users in the US and UK to mark themselves safe after a bombing in Pakistan. Many other countries were also ask to mark themselves safe from the Pakistani bombing.
Image via Aglon Group