There has been a huge amount of fake news websites on the Internet in recent times, and they share a lot of hogwash. Fake news sharing causes a lot of problems for people. For example, Hilary Clinton was accused of running a child sex ring on some shoddy website. A fallout of that was that one man took a gun into a pizza restaurant and opened fire on people. That is not good.
One of the ways these pseudo-websites spread their data is through Facebook. Usually, some site creates a bogus piece of news, then shares it on Facebook, hoping to generate some laughs and traffic. However, these pieces of nes often produce serious consequences (see gunman in restaurant above). This puts Facebook in a bad light, as it is the easiest place to get news these days. As such, Facebook is taking steps to identify and combat these fake news sites.
Facebook has sworn to prevent misleading news articles from reaching users. Therefore, they have set up an unofficial task force to categorize pages based on their content.
- According to a report on Facebook Newsroom, “We categorized pages to identify whether or not they were posting spam or trying to game feed by doing things like asking for likes, comments, or shares”. Basically, this means that they will study the posts and determine if they are actually saying something worth reading or just fishing for those sweet, sweet likes.
- Furthermore, the engineers at Facebook developed a model to identify whether posts are authentic or not. This model is based on reader behavior towards the posts. These posts will still appear on your news feed; however, they most likely won’t affect you, since the authentic posts will rank higher. It will consider factors like your relationship with the sharer of the article, number of likes, shares and comments.
The fake news phenomenon has certainly gathered a few enemies. However, Facebook is on their case. Rest assured, therefore, that in the near future, you are not likely to be seeing stuff like, “President Muhammadu Buhari is DEAD! Click to find out more!”