In recent elections, internet broke down the traditional distinction between professional news-gathering and amateur rumor mongering. Fake news reached the audience as easily as real news and confused the ordinary voters from understanding the world around them. Many misleading and sloppy reports engaged the audience in an outrageous nonsense about the politicians they didn’t like.
Social media giant Facebook faced a lot of criticism from public as well as media for its apparent role in helping the spread of misleading news during the US presidential elections. According to sources many individuals living in remote locations created fake news websites and earned profits from the viral spread of fake stories. It so happened that users on the Facebook started engaging more with the fake articles than the real ones. The platform came under a lot of pressure once it realized the uncontrollable spread. A lot of efforts were made on the platform’s part but now it has decided to revamp its social media framework.
Facebook is now turning towards the very biggest consumption source of such false news-its users. Facebook is now experimenting with its feature that will allow users to rank a news article for deceptive phrasing. When any article will appear in the news feed, the bar below will request the users to rank the content for any “misleading language”. The points on the scale will ask users to rank the article among various options.
It is not certain that how this feature will mark the articles that are actually false and the ones with just exaggerated headlines. According to the Facebook’s spokesman, this feature is an official effort but still no other details have been publicized up till now. The CEO Mark Zuckerberg initially avoided all such criticism and denied its company’s involvement in the viral spread. But recently he has announced to experiment with features that include third-party verification for actual news sources and warnings for the misleading articles.
The ranking tool by Facebook complements the current efforts for dealing with the fake news issues. This process involves users to manually report a fake story in the News Feed by clicking on the top-right of a specific article.
Although it is not easy for researchers to develop some artificial intelligence tools to detect the originality of a content but Facebook has taken a good step by allowing third parties to devise their own systems for users to pick from. For now, this measure seems to be the best solution to combat fake news problem.