In a bid to weed out fake news, Facebook has recently tried out a new algorithm that did elevate comments with the word “fake”.
Facebook users were not pleased with this strategy and this attempt resulted in users being more annoyed than impressed.
The test, which has been finished, was the latest attempt of social network to fight fake news.
The important thing to notice is that Facebook is sticking to its word and continues searching for ways to eliminate fake news from the Facebook once and for all.
Long ago especially since 2016 election, Facebook has been accused of promoting misinformation.
At last the fake stories reached a larger audience than actual news during the final months of the United States elections.
But for all that happening it gets hate, and the company has taken several steps to fight the epidemic.
Back in December 2016, Facebook managed to introduce tools for users to report any post they consider a hoax, and the option to flag stories as disputed, by working with a third-party fact checking organizations, like Poynter.
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The site also started showing related articles below the stories for users to get a wider angle on the story, and to enable them to identify themselves whether the story was a hoax or a truth.
In April 2017, the social media network announced that it would punish Facebook Pages considered to be spreading fake news by taking away economic incentives.
The site stated that it would make it as difficult as possible for those posting Fake News to buy advertisements as well as as applying machine learning to help detect fraud and “inauthentic spam accounts” on the network.
This was accompanied by a tool that does appear on the top of user’s newsfeeds to assist them spot fake news on the daily basis.
Recently in August, Facebook took further steps by blocking ads directly from Pages that repeatedly spread Fake News. This was one of the most forward attempts so far.
In September, amidst revelations of Russian interference in the United States elections, the social network announced that it was deleting more accounts which it identified to be relating this, while still claiming to be utilising AI and sending further stories to fact-checkers.
Despite the steps forward, the fight against fake news is likely to be never-ending. Facebook and others have tackled this issue, but the problem remains in those who are sharing the fake stories in the first place.
Sometimes the site will make mistakes along the way, as with the above mentioned test to highlight comments with the word ‘fake’. But even when it gets it wrong, it is important that the company is at least attempting.
The steps that are currently being taken are important and not only making the user more aware, but gives them the chance to participate in attempting to solve the problem.
Now, after one year the fake stories have died down slightly, but we will have to wait for another political turmoil to see how much these precautions are effective.