Facebook is still figuring out how to tackle fake news (1 Viewer)

Andrus

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Facebook is moving toward trying to reduce the impact of sensational or misleading content showing up in users’ news feeds. Part of that is a reaction to the election of Donald Trump following the viral spread of fake election news via Facebook, which is basically the digital equivalent of shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted.


But part of it is by necessity, as other nations are pressuring Facebook to clamp down on the spread of news that could be disruptive to their own elections.


In Germany, which is facing a nationwide election this year, lawmakers proposed a rule that would levy a 500,000 euro fine for each piece of fake news it fails to take down within 24 hours. No surprise, then, that Germany was one of the first places where Facebook rolled out new tools to combat misleading articles being shared.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/14/facebook-fake-news-code-media/
I like what the Germans are doing here. This needs to happen real quick here also. No matter how ridiculous the fake news may be, far too many people on FB (and social media otherwise) buy into it, share it, and parrot it. From there it just snowballs. Then you end up with a mess like we have now, and I believe that Fake news deserves a good bit of credit for it.
 

CountWhoDat

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Remember when Facebook was accused of "censoring" stories from conservative propaganda websites because it filtered them out of the "Trending" feed of users? It was about 6 and 8 months ago.

Is it really any coincidence that the dissemination of propaganda on FB started to ramp up in the latter half of last year? If Facebook is going to have a "News" feature at all, it should be curated to include well-sourced news.
 

MrScary

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At some point though, the readers have to take responsibility and take in multiple sources for information and vet accordingly. It really isn't that hard to verify things with the whole of human knowledge basically at your fingertips. Just ask yourself if in your heart of hearts, you really think that this article from Liberal.com or Republifascist.org are likely your best source of information. The problem is that most people don't want to know or admit what they're reading on social media isn't accurate when it fits their echo chamber worldview.
 

brandon8283

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At some point though, the readers have to take responsibility and take in multiple sources for information and vet accordingly. It really isn't that hard to verify things with the whole of human knowledge basically at your fingertips. Just ask yourself if in your heart of hearts, you really think that this article from Liberal.com or Republifascist.org are likely your best source of information. The problem is that most people don't want to know or admit what they're reading on social media isn't accurate when it fits their echo chamber worldview.
My problem is the people on Facebook who are confronted when they post fake news that are like "I'm not sure if this is real or not, but I think it makes a good point!"

It's like...no, if it's fake, it doesn't make a good point. It makes a fake one. And you do know if it's real or not. It isn't.
 

mt15

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That's a nice utopian view. In real life I find that it only takes a couple of people in somebody's friend group to start sharing fake news and others just fall in line. Things they would never believe were they to see it themselves on some random website suddenly have "credibility" because Aunt Jane or Uncle Joe shared it. I'm not sure how you combat that sort of cognitive dissonance.
 

guidomerkinsrules

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At some point though, the readers have to take responsibility and take in multiple sources for information and vet accordingly. It really isn't that hard to verify things with the whole of human knowledge basically at your fingertips. Just ask yourself if in your heart of hearts, you really think that this article from Liberal.com or Republifascist.org are likely your best source of information. The problem is that most people don't want to know or admit what they're reading on social media isn't accurate when it fits their echo chamber worldview.
Good in theory, but...
This is like berating obese people at McDs
Research has shown that brain chemistry/pleasure center activity is a big part of abusing bad choices
If someone was raised on fake news/fast food
And they've developed an addiction to it (continue to chase that comforting high)
Is "just say no" going to work?
 

billinms

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I have mixed feelings about this. At some point (as said above), people bear the responsibility of being able to reason and look into a questionable story just a bit.

In real life I find that it only takes a couple of people in somebody's friend group to start sharing fake news and others just fall in line.
Those are mostly stupid people though. Unfortunately, I guess there are enough stupid people in this country to elect their man president. I've removed most offenders from my Facebook but still have one small group I keep because I've known them so long. They also love to post "Say amen or Jesus will kill your dog" and the such.
 

xpuma20x

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I've always been curious about the legality of countries fining internet based companies who are based out of other countries for activity that they alone find illegal. What would force Facebook to actually pay Germany's fines if that government did attempt to fine them? Especially if they think it excessive. I'm fairly ignorant in this regards to be totally honest. And who determines if it is actually "fake" or not? There are plenty of articles on Facebook that I might considere fake, but others might consider just stretching the truth from a different viewpoint (#alternativefacts). And couldn't Facebook argue that since it isn't a news site and doesn't have control over the people posting through the site, that it thus shouldn't be responsible for the things posted on it? Not taking into account the "trending" formula and things that force unwanted stuff at the top of your feed, they can regulate that of course. This isn't me disagreeing with the idea of needing to dump fake news, or at least separate it from out right satire, just curious on how it works. It seems a slippery slope for a foreign country to try to fine an internet based company from another country for something that isn't in that company's realm of service, and especially half based on one side's opinion.
 

Saints318

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These are the same people that believe Halloween is going to fall on Friday the 13th for the first time in 666 years again this year.
 

SaintJ

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These are the same people that believe Halloween is going to fall on Friday the 13th for the first time in 666 years again this year.
Man, I can't believe that my warlock coven hasn't picked up on this yet.

Of course, it's also the same year that the Falcons blew a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl, so I'd say it's a wash.

#ItWas28to3
 

SaintJ

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Andrus, I hear ya, but I am a big first amendment guy, so I think as long as Facebook is sticking with its little news bar on this and not curating what individual lunatics and con-artists are doing, in the long run honesty and democracy will win out over attempts for any one group to determine what information should get out there.

We already have laws about libel, slander and fraud, and reasonably limits on speech in the 200-plus years of First Amendment court decisions, and I think we're in pretty good shape, despite the insanity of the last 12 or so months.

JMHO.
 

guidomerkinsrules

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I have mixed feelings about this. At some point (as said above), people bear the responsibility of being able to reason and look into a questionable story just a bit.


Those are mostly stupid people though. Unfortunately, I guess there are enough stupid people in this country to elect their man president. I've removed most offenders from my Facebook but still have one small group I keep because I've known them so long. They also love to post "Say amen or Jesus will kill your dog" and the such.
reasoning is learned (i know it's open for debate, but I fall square on the 'reasoning/logic is NOT innate)

we have cultivated fake news adherents by holding FAITH as the penultimate human trait
 

Blackcricket

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That's a nice utopian view. In real life I find that it only takes a couple of people in somebody's friend group to start sharing fake news and others just fall in line. Things they would never believe were they to see it themselves on some random website suddenly have "credibility" because Aunt Jane or Uncle Joe shared it. I'm not sure how you combat that sort of cognitive dissonance.
I was home this past Thanksgiving to visit family. There were a few older members that I got in a discussion with and I had to squash the notion they were peddling to me that Obama wasn't the first black president. They went through the effort of showing me an article as proof that he wasn't the first black president and that it was someone named John Hanson. They influenced my nieces and they were accepting this unique information that the media didn't seem to uncover. Until I showed up.

There's this idea that information that you and the group you're in has and the various forms of media doesn't have, then it makes it the truth or maybe more trustworthy.

We have a huge country and it's difficult when good information can't penetrate these groups.
 

CountWhoDat

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Good in theory, but...
This is like berating obese people at McDs
Research has shown that brain chemistry/pleasure center activity is a big part of abusing bad choices
If someone was raised on fake news/fast food
And they've developed an addiction to it (continue to chase that comforting high)
Is "just say no" going to work?
Good way of putting it.

I find myself agreeing with you and Mr. Scary in a sense. It's interesting that the "party of personal responsibility" is the same one whose adherents say "Just passing this along...not my words!". At some point there has to be responsibility for contributing to the garbage-in, garbage-out world of online propaganda.

Facebook red-tagging these posts is the equivalent of McD's putting the calorie counts beside the pictures of menu items. A fair warning and a full disclosure that'll make some people think twice. but its not going to stop the "true believers" from ordering 2 Big Macs and a large fries.
 

guidomerkinsrules

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Good way of putting it.

I find myself agreeing with you and Mr. Scary in a sense. It's interesting that the "party of personal responsibility" is the same one whose adherents say "Just passing this along...not my words!". At some point there has to be responsibility for contributing to the garbage-in, garbage-out world of online propaganda.

Facebook red-tagging these posts is the equivalent of McD's putting the calorie counts beside the pictures of menu items. A fair warning and a full disclosure that'll make some people think twice. but its not going to stop the "true believers" from ordering 2 Big Macs and a large fries.
you want Fries with that Fake?
 
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Andrus

Andrus

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Andrus, I hear ya, but I am a big first amendment guy, so I think as long as Facebook is sticking with its little news bar on this and not curating what individual lunatics and con-artists are doing, in the long run honesty and democracy will win out over attempts for any one group to determine what information should get out there.

We already have laws about libel, slander and fraud, and reasonably limits on speech in the 200-plus years of First Amendment court decisions, and I think we're in pretty good shape, despite the insanity of the last 12 or so months.

JMHO.
Jay.. I understand. While I was typing the OP, the 1st amendment was the slippery slope that I knew might be challenged by the fake news censorship idea in this country.

My own opinion is that intentionally lying or being deceptively misleading in order to promote political agenda, and by doing so attempting to sway voters should be illegal. The presidency (as well as any legislative office) is too important to allow such practice.

You've certainly forgotten more about legal than I will ever know, and I suppose the legality of such a restriction is already covered somehow, but who is challenging these lying propagandists in the courts?

At some point though, the readers have to take responsibility and take in multiple sources for information and vet accordingly. It really isn't that hard to verify things with the whole of human knowledge basically at your fingertips. Just ask yourself if in your heart of hearts, you really think that this article from Liberal.com or Republifascist.org are likely your best source of information. The problem is that most people don't want to know or admit what they're reading on social media isn't accurate when it fits their echo chamber worldview.
A big part of the problem with self-responsibility that I see, is that the amount of voters having the intuition and common sense needed to differentiate fact from fiction is apparently lacking in this country. As you eluded to... there is little willingness or inclination to fact check and many don't even care as long as it fits within their own ideals and/or agenda.
 

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