Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of discussion about fake news and its possible impact on the 2016 US election cycle. If you use Facebook, you have surely seen news posts that seem completely outrageous at first glace. Well people were right to tell you not to second guess yourself. These types of stories have seemed to become more and more pervasive. The posts have actually become so pervasive that both Facebook and Google have been called on to combat the epidemic.
On Friday, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg outlined a plan to combat the spread of fake news on his social media platform. Zuckerberg’s proposed plan includes: improving Facebook technical ability to detect misinformation, making it easier for users to report stories as untrue, working with fact checking organizations to create third-party verification, and labeling stories that other users have flagged as false. This is a tricky situation for the social media company as it must balance the ability for users to feel unrestricted while protecting people from misinformation.
Mr. Zuckerberg has stated that the problems were “complex, both technically and philosophically.” Additionally, he noted Facebook did not want to discourage the sharing of opinions or become “arbiters of truth”. When individuals use the Internet they tend to do so to save time. For example, a lot of us use social media as a way to keep in touch with people that we know in a more efficient manner. Zuckerberg went on to say, “We’ve been working on this problem for a long time and we take this responsibility seriously.”
We sure hope so, Mr. Zuckerberg.