Author: Gary Eastwood / Source: CIO Credit: Michael Kan Facebook has been making waves recently with the roll out of its campaign to tac
Facebook has been making waves recently with the roll out of its campaign to tackle the influx of fake news appearing on its newsfeeds.
The contemporary political, social and economic climate is largely influenced by social media. It impacts a large cross section of the population—1.23 billion people according to Facebook’s statisticians—and, according to studies performed by the Pew Research Center, 62 percent of adults derive their news directly from social media and not from primary sources.
This has opened up an avenue for misinformation, fake news and hoaxes to proliferate in an attempt to sway public opinion to any number of causes.
Campaign against fake Facebook accounts
Recently, Facebook has taken a stand against what it deems as “false news.” Utilizing third party fact checking organizations, the company is mounting a campaign to discredit and remove fraudulent accounts. In France, some 30, 000 fake Facebook accounts were removed in the lead up to the presidential elections. This was an effort to crack down on the amount of misinformation and deceptive content being generated and disseminated by the creators of these fake accounts. Facebook is also running fact checking programs in collaboration with First Draft, a non-profit organization, in an effort to combat the surfeit of misinformation.
European Union authorities have pressurized Facebook to remove inflammatory speech and far right propaganda, in accordance with Hate Speech Legislation. However, they have met with a certain amount of resistance from Facebook which, although promotes the safety of its community with its Community Standards, nevertheless advocates freedom of speech and believes it provides a platform for self-expression.
Facebook has an entrenched vetting system for user posts but the lines blur significantly when it comes to news. An example of this is the decision to leave the post regarding President Trump’s incendiary rant about evicting Muslims from the U.S. This openly prejudiced post was allowed to remain online against protocol because it was newsworthy.
Facebook releases ‘educational tools’
More recently, Facebook has added a voluntary link to its newsfeed in 14 countries in a bid to educate and inform users to differentiate…