Facebook And Google Accused Of Letting Fake News Stories Trend And Polarise Election Results

The Logical Indian

November 18th, 2016 / 5:17 PM

Fakes News

Source: gizmodo | Image Courtesy: ibtimes | googlewatchblog

Fake News
Headlines like “FBI Agent suspected in Hillary Email leaks found dead in apparent murder-suicide.” or “Pope Francis shocks the world, endorses Donald Trump for President, releases statement” promoted by no-name news media platforms like the Denver Guardian and Ending the Fed have put pressure on Facebook to tackle the problem of fake news and information.

There are a lot of hoax news  articles on Facebook, and the critics have accused the social network of allowing false and fake news stories to run rampant. The critics have also accused that Facebook contributed to Donald trump’s election win by allowing the party to spread false and misleading information.


Zuckerberg’s Statement
Mark Zuckerberg has refuted the claims and has said that of all the content on Facebook, more than 99 percent of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount of the information is fake. These hoaxes are not limited to one party, view or even to politics.


Issue
It started in May when a blog named Gizmodo published a story in which a former Facebook employee revealed that the trending news team on facebook was run by human “curators” and was guided by their editorial judgements, rather than being populated by an algorithm, as the company had earlier claimed. Every time we open facebook, the most influential, controversial and misunderstood algorithms spring into action. They scan and collect everything posted in the past week by each of our friends, everyone we follow, each group we belong to and every Facebook page we’ve liked. The allegations  by the former employee were denied by Facebook, but they later fired the entire trending news team. The layoffs were followed by several high-profile blunders, in which the company allowed fake news stories (or hoaxes) to trend on the website. Mark Zuckerberg also invited several high-profile conservatives to a meeting at Facebook’s campus.


Effect of Fake News
Making up news stories to fool or entertain the public is not a new trend. There are hundreds of fake news websites out there, many of which deliberately imitate credible newspapers in format and design, and trend misinformation. The hoax published by such websites gets social media attention and is then picked up by other sites. A chain reaction takes place and hoax are published and proliferated everywhere. This ultimately leads to the inability to verify the authenticity of the published reports.  The potential to cause damage becomes more powerful over time. It reinforces people’s beliefs and falsely confirms their prejudices.


Allegations of Fake News impacting the results of  2016 US Election
From Facebook to any other social media community, every single platform has played a large role in gathering young voters for 2016 election. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both used social media to their advantages. But false information attracted more attention of the people. The influence of false content on Facebook cannot be regarded as a small or one-time event when it garners million of shares. But how do these false contents originate? Many come from people who make up stories on websites such as 8chan, 4chan and other such sites. These are then co-opted either by genuine right-learning sites or shill sites and are then shared again on social media. Some of the stories are utterly ridiculous and have catered to an increasing number of conspiracy theories.

Both Google and Facebook have responded to these fake news and have announced that measures will be taken to counter the bogus clickbait stories.  Google said it will restrict sites that publish fake news from using its online advertising services. And Facebook updated its Audience Network Policy to make it clear that it will not display ads on websites or mobile apps that contain fake news. It is also reported that Google employed 3 UK companies to help classify and weed out fake news platforms.

It remains to be seen how effective the algorithms and new measures will be in combating the menace of fake news websites.


Contributors

Edited by :

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

Malaysia To Impose Penalty of 170,000 USD Or 6 Yrs Jail For Publishing Fake News Under Anti Fake News Act

A Fake Twitter Trend Designed To Discredit Farmers’ March In Mumbai Busted

Paresh Rawal Tweet Exposes Party’s Social Media Tactic: Shares Google Doc To Trend #JhoothiCongress

Top Fake News Stories Circulated By Indian Media In 2017

Election Results: BJP Wins Both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, Now 19 States Saffronised

Google Fined $2.7 Billion By European Union For Rigging Search Results

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

Police Officer Thrashed By BJP Councillor At A Restaurant, Incident Captured In CCTV Camera

News

Universities To Lose Affiliation If They Retain Students’ Original Documents During Admission: UGC

Get Inspired

Indian-American Woman Honoured With Presidential Award By White House For Her Work Against Human Trafficking

News

Amritsar Train Tragedy: Punjab CM Orders Magisterial Inquiry Into The Accident Which Killed Over 60

News

Areas Surrounding Siang River Alerted Of Flash Floods After Formation Of Artificial Lake In Tibet

Awareness

School Management Committee – Delhi Govt’s Initiative To Involve Parents In Decision Making Of Schools

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.