Fake news exists. It’s a simple truth that we have to accept in order to have a chance not to be led on by them. With the ascent of the social media, this problem has gotten more prevalent in the world as there is no better way to spread false information worldwide than reposts in popular social networks.
With the way social media marketing works, one can make any piece of information go viral if they have enough dedication, skill, and resources. It’s all about the right kind of promotion, not the actual ‘truth content’ of the article.
As the giant among the social media, Facebook is most vulnerable to the unscrupulous people spreading fake news. At first, this issue has been mostly ignored, but now that the world is facing the consequences of those unsubstantiated rumors, the matter doesn’t seem so light.
The latest US election has shown us the real power of the Internet. People the world over call for Facebook representatives to take responsibility for their network’s role in swaying the public opinion.
But can we really blame these people for the actions of gullible masses?
Most importantly, do they really have the power to control the truthfulness of every article posted by millions of users every single day?
The answers to those questions are what truly matters here. It’s the truth that Facebook is flooded by fake news, but it doesn’t claim to be a legit news source and has no crew of professional reporters working on compiling your News Feed.
We love social media so much because they provide every person a chance to share whatever they want with the world. It’s this freedom that is the double-edged sword of Facebook news. No one can actually stop people from spreading false information, and it’s our own psychology that makes us form erroneous opinions based even on the most ridiculous of notions. Thomas E. Kida has explained this in his book Don’t Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking.
Our beliefs guide our decisions, and beliefs aren’t actually governed by logic and clear thinking. It’s this power that the fake news sources use to manipulate the minds of people.
The Internet has given us tremendous opportunities. Today you can do everything online, buy a concert ticket, shop for groceries, consult a doctor, pay your bills, talk to people living on the other side of the world. You can even establish and run your own business with it being 100% online. Social media are a crucial part of that, so blaming them and trying to label this fantastic information instrument as ‘evil’ is not only useless, but also counterproductive for the development of civilization as a whole.
How Facebook Plans to Combat Fake News
Of course, Facebook couldn’t just leave the matter of fake news unaddressed. The company has been working on ways to prevent this scandal from repeating by using a variety of measures to find and block those spreading false information.
At the moment, Facebook has enacted a policy that will ban fake news websites from the ad network. The problem is that we have yet to learn how exactly they are going to do it.
Privacy is one of the main values of this social network, and the idea of some people sorting through and censoring your posts doesn’t seem appealing to users. In the past, user reports were the main tool of flagging fake or otherwise harmful content.
Apparently, this approach didn’t work out.
We’ll be looking forward to learning how exactly Facebook is going to deal with the problem. While at the same time, advising internet users to be more information savvy. Look for proof and double-check any content you find, especially if it seems too scandalous to be genuine.