Most social networks have a fake-news problem. Now, Facebook has a new tool that can eliminate the hoaxes.
Some fake news showed up on Google and Facebook after the tragedy in Las Vegas. An individual was cited as being the shooter. Except that he wasn’t the shooter. But his name appeared on Facebook emergency sites. When you Google his name, sites connecting him with the shooting are on the top first page.
It’s another automation problem that humans can’t seem to keep up. These social networking sites continue to be the main destination for fake news. Unfortunately, no matter what they do, they still can’t find a solution.
Facebook created various tools, like fake news warnings. But none of them cured the issue.
Now, it has created another tool that shows the context of the articles posted on your feed. Next to the links, you’ll find a button. When you click it, it launches a pop-up window that shows details about the post and the publisher.
It obtains the description of the site that the article is linked from. It gets details from the publisher’s entry on Wikipedia and other sources.
But you must remember that Wikipedia isn’t a foolproof way to check for false news. The reason for this is that anyone can easily edit the site. And it includes those people who want to spread hoaxes. However, the social networking site doesn’t worry about the Wikipedia edits.
The Context tool of Facebook can be helpful. It’s to ensure that you’re sharing credible news from trustworthy websites. Now, if there’s no context available, the social network will tell you, and it may suggest that you’re reading a site that spreads false information.
Facebook believed that when people can have an essential contextual information, they can evaluate whether or not the articles are from a credible source. If this tool were available during the Las Vegas shooting, readers could have distinguished accurate news from fake information.
Google has the same problem. Experts said that Google crawls the web continuously. It picks up new information as soon as it appears. Google didn’t have the time to verify the search results. So what its algorithm does is that it shows what it knows about the name or keyword.
According to Google, the results should not have appeared. However, it promised to continue improving its algorithm to prevent it from happening again in the future.
Experts recommend that Google must put less weight on 4chan and other similar sites. If only Google weighted credible sites heavily, then it wouldn’t happen. People wouldn’t see such result.
On Google, the people who are running its search are engineers. They don’t think like journalists.
Facebook’s scale is huge. That means, even if people are helping out, there would still be mistakes. That means a situation like the Las Vegas shooting may happen again. We can’t expect the Context button on Facebook to have perfect filtering.