A publication called Mississippi Herald as recently as last month created a fake news story. Even major publications like MSN got fooled and reported it. Even now at the time of writing this, the article titled “Husband and wife discover they are biological twins after IVF clinic performs routine DNA test” is still live.
Since, then according to this Inquisitr Report the original source of the story on the MississippiHerald.com has garnered 14,299 shares on Facebook. The story overall has over 32000 shares on Facebook, thanks to all the publishers and readers who believed it.
The factor here is Mississippi Herald is not a registered News organization unlike the Mississippi Sun Herald whose name it has robbed. Many such Fake publishers exist on Facebook, the social media giant which doesn’t care about any of this.
The Menace of Fake News and Illegal Content
The Mississippi Herald feeds off the Mississippi Sun Herald’s popularity. It spreads any content to go viral, get traffic and generate revenue.
This isn’t any exceptional example. The incompetency of Facebook in handling the menace has been laid bare a lot of time. The social media platform initially created to stalk your own classmates, even today doesn’t give a damn to the social evils it helps perpetuate.
From fake news to illegal content. Extremist propaganda to child pornography, ISIS baiting youths to individual victimization, rigging political debate to targeted threats and abuse Facebook perpetuates it all. Even though it may claim it be unaware of it and fighting it, the instances of such incidents just keeps on rising.
Facebook has been used to manipulate people spread lies, slander individuals. From accusation of rigging the election for president Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines to enabling Russians to get Trump elected, Facebook has been accused of it all and rightly so.
The menace of fake manipulative content on Facebook has directly affected the outcomes of numerous elections in Europe, the US and the Pacific and most popularly the Brexit.
As such the social media giant has come under scanner for being a grave threat to the democracies worldwide. The cause of concern gets magnified by Facebook’s repetitive spectacular failure to o anything about it. The only thing it has done is irresponsibly passing the onus onto its users and publishers to spot and flag questionable content.
Facebook Fake News: The ConsequencesFacebook fake news, with its make-up of lies and simplifications, is hugely manipulative. Click To Tweet
The Independent reported that fake news is eroding democratic institutions. The problem has become so big that scientific facts are now openly being questioned! Link between smoking and cancer, even climate change is being questioned. The more the lies are shared, the more public opinion is shaped.
The fact that some stalking tool can today debase science and manipulate people into believing any bullshit, rig our elections is in itself creepy! All the while the only thing Facebook does is keep giving shit excuses.
Facebook Fake News: Excuses and Lies!
TechCrunch revealed how Times uncovered Facebook’s shitty excuses. Facebook says it employs thousands of human moderators located across the globe to handle the dubious content. But the Facebook’s entire company headcount only totals just over 17,000 staff which gets divided into the multiple departments of the company.
Facebook can hire more moderators, but then that would mean increased costs.Facebook keeps passing the buck to users and authentic news publishers to flag content. Click To Tweet
The platform basically represents a mob which can very easily be misled. The propaganda machinery can easily overrun the amount of sane users who might flag the content.
Lastly, Facebook hides behinds its algorithms and avoids any regulation. The News feed is propelled by algorithms, which push and prioritize one type of content over the other. But algorithms can be gamed. Being a business entity, there is no guarantee that Facebook isn’t or won’t be influenced to game the algorithms.
Facebook also hides under the protective garb of free speech.
Facebook Fake News: Conclusion
The end conclusion is clear. As digital space becomes increasingly prominent in influencing people, more such instances will arise.Manipulative fake content is a threat. It directly affects and impacts the huge social mob Click To Tweet.
Thus, either there need to be better systems in place, automated or otherwise with stringent regulations. Facebook must be put under pressure to accept responsibility and deliver.
Or the news publishers completely do away with Facebook and hold authentic content on their own verified and trusted platforms. At least until real and credible solutions come into picture.