Facebook has been teasing a massive overhaul to the News Feed - its core product - after widespread, utterly deserved criticism that it had acted as a megaphone for disinformation on an unprecedented scale. Today, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced how his platform will handle news, and it's quite possibly the stupidest solution imaginable.
Tagged With fake news
Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
Facebook has a fake news problem. Its most recent trending news misstep promoted misinformation from anonymous messageboard 4chan about the Las Vegas shooting. To combat the spread of fake news (and growing backlash against the company), the social network is testing out a new feature enabling users to tell the difference themselves between an article from a trustworthy publisher, and one that's a bit more suspect than usual, by hitting a "more information" button.
Major news events such as Hurricane Harvey produce thousands of photos, and thousands more tweets and Facebook posts of fake, outdated or out-of-context photos. This time the big winner is a photoshop of a shark on the freeway which pops up during every major hurricane.
When you see a video online that seems a bit too wild to be true, chances are it probably is. Along with fake news stories, fake viral videos are all over Facebook and YouTube, a lot of them made by people who know what they're doing, which makes it hard to determine whether or not they're on the up and up. Fake videos like that one of a bald eagle snatching a child, or the video of a friend accidentally causing another's death, can be alarming when you don't realise they're stunts.
The theory of a flat earth is wrong. To the point where even typing the words 'the theory of a flat earth is wrong' is giving the "theory" too much credit. But a confession: I find flat earth theory and the people who believe in it fascinating. I don't mean to patronise. It's just really interesting.
I also really, really love the drawings and paintings: the depictions of what a flat earth might look like from space, created by artists who are 100 per cent serious. Here are a few of my favourites.
It seems the old curse "may you live in interesting times" has come true. We now live in a world where "fake news" and "alternative facts" are part of our vernacular and something we must guard against. But one of the challenges of the online world is that misinformation can be spread quickly and become "fact" before there's a chance to verify it. Google is having a crack at verifying sources and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is as well.
Everyone is trying to crack down on fake news, but there's still little understanding of why such preposterous information spreads so easily. One recent study may have revealed a very important piece of the puzzle, however: People trust their friends too much.
Fake news has been a big talking point the last few weeks, and today, Facebook's finally rolling out tools to help you report fake news so that it doesn't continue to spread.
Chrome: Facebook has a very real fake news problem. To help combat this, BS Detector will show a little red warning when you're about to click a link that comes from a questionable, "satirical" or fake news source.