With controversy still rampant over how big a role fake Facebook news stories played in the US Presidential election, company founder Mark Zuckerberg has publicly laid out new options for how the social network could handle ‘misinformation.’
Current President, Barrack Obama singled out Facebook and websites for the impact fake news stories on social media were having, last week.
He complained that so much misinformation may have had an adverse effect on election results and catapulted the business man, Donald Trump, who inherited the majority of his wealth, to victory.
Obama stated that the hosts and curators of social media were ultimately responsible for ‘much active information…[that]…looks the same when you see it on a Facebook page or you turn on your television.’
For his part, Zuckerberg initially dismissed the notion as ‘pretty crazy,’ but having had time to reflect, both he and Google have now said they will change their policies in regard to ads to prevent fake news stories from using their systems.
(It is unknown if this means we will no longer see how one woman makes $900 an hour in [insert your home-town here] or if we will no longer have the opportunity to see how one man learned [x] number of languages in just one month. We can but hope.)
Writing in a post on his Facebook profile, Zuckerberg said:
‘The bottom line is: we take misinformation seriously. Our goal is to connect people with the stories they find most meaningful, and we know people want accurate information. We’ve been working on this problem for a long time and we take this responsibility seriously. We’ve made significant progress, but there is more work to be done.’
Zuckerberg announced that Facebook are currently working on 7 projects that could lower the incidence and significance of fake news stories, from consulting with fact checking organizations and journalists, to putting kinks in the cash flow pipeline of fake news stories businesses’.
‘While the percentage of misinformation is relatively small, we have much more work ahead on our roadmap,’ Zuckerberg continued. The primary means of classifying these fake news stories will however be down to technology, utilizing it to try and ‘detect what people will flag as false before they do it themselves.’
‘Some of these ideas will work well, and some will not. But I want you to know that we have always taken this seriously, we understand how important the issue is for our community and we are committed to getting this right,’ Zuckerberg concluded.
Time will tell.
If you’re interested, Filehippo.com has some great free software that can help you deal with misinformation, right here.