Accuracy in Media

A study released by Yale University found Facebook’s attempt to combat fake news is not working — and in some cases, it has helped spread fake stories.

Facebook’s third-party fact-checker came out in December, according to Politico, after efforts to use its user base to flag fake news proved unsuccessful. Now, the site uses an algorithm backed by five fact-checking sources: ABC News, the Associated Press, FactCheck.org, Politifact and Snopes.

“These results suggest that the currently deployed approaches are not nearly enough to undermine belief in fake news,” the study’s abstract read. “New (empirically supported) strategies are needed.”

The study showed that even when the stories were marked as “disputed by third party fact-checkers,” it had little impact on readers’ perception of the stories.

Because of the volume of stories that are flagged as fake news, Facebook has not been able to directly determine whether stories are factual. As a result, stories with bad information have been passed through, marked as reputable and shared across the platform. In some cases, those stories went viral, boosting them far beyond their original reach.

Facebook has historically been protective of its data. Critics say this protection has prevented fact-checkers from prioritizing the most popular fake news stories, allowing those subjects to slip through the cracks.

 





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Comments

  • sox83cubs84

    It might help if their news watchdogs weren’t all liberal media halfwits and purveyors of fake news themselves.

  • lharp207

    I think Trump has his hands full in the USA, and felt Mexico needed their resources due to the situation in Mexico. They should be helping the Mexicans before they leave home to come to the US, so they would not feel the great need to come to the US. If he could help them over here, he could have helped them over there.

  • Bob

    Exactly. How can the fake news creators be the fake news catchers? It simply can’t/won’t work. People have access to the truth today regardless of their efforts to stomp it out with agenda driven garbage.

  • TED

    The whole concept of ‘social media’, whether Facebook, Twitter, or whatever, is totally bogus and is susceptible to BS being piled on BS being piled on BS … interminably! Shut ’em all down!