The Facebook fake news controversy has refused to die down in the weeks after it first reared its head after the US presidential election. Many critics believe that the spread of bogus news on the platform played an important part in decided the winner of the race.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg initially responded to the criticism by saying that it was a crazy idea to think that fake news on the site helped swing the election. He later published a post on his own page claiming that 99% of content on the website was real. He’s now put up yet another statement to stem the flood of condemnation.
Zuckerberg started out the post by stating that Facebook takes misinformation seriously and has been working on the issue for a lengthy period of time. He points out that the platform has historically relied on its community to determine what is false since anyone can report a link as phony. It then uses these signals along with others to classify sham news.
The Facebook CEO claims it’s currently working on a number of projects to help cut down on bogus content. For one, it’s concentrating on stronger detection by developing better technical systems to predict what members will flag as false before they do. The social media juggernaut’s also planning to make it easier to report hoaxes.
Other measures include third-party verification courtesy fact-checking organizations, warnings which label news as being fake, increasing the bar for content which appears in related articles, and listening to journalists to get some insight on their fact checking systems. Facebook is also going to disrupt sham news economics through better ad farm detection to put an end to money-motivated spam.
Zuckerberg concludes his post by admitting that some of these methods will work well and some will not. Facebook’s basic aim has always been to encourage traffic on the site and fake news seems to have played a big role in that. The brand’s shift could be seen as straightforward damage control now that people have become such vocal critics of it. Only time will tell if the steps will bring about change for the better.