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Facebook Fake News Episode: All you need to know

Facebook was recently accused of putting up fake news which led to influential consequenced across the globe.

Facebook is the most visited website across the globe with over 27 billion visits per month. If not in India, about 62 percent of population in the United States use Facebook as their primary news source. However, in India, people still rely primarly on newspapers and news channels which is no doubt a better and more reliable source. The reason we are saying this is because recently, just after the US presidential elections, Facebook was accused of showing fake stories in favour of one of the candidates which reportedly effected the election pattern and results.

Another example of the fake news episode is the rumour about presence of 'Nano GPS Chip' in the new Rs 2000 note which was highly discussed on the social media platform.

One reason behind this fake news saga is that everything you see on Facebook is based on an algorithm. So the News Feed, for example, is based on the algorithm and no human intervention is there. In fact, the latest Trending column is also controlled by an algorithm. So there was always a tendency that the news shared on Facebook can be fake.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg had declined that Facebook played a role in spreading fake news and termed this idea "crazy". To lessen the criticism, Facebook decided to ban sites that post fake news from using its advertising network to make money.

Further, soon Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Facebook came out with his statement mentioning several methods to curb this issue.

"We take misinformation seriously," The Guardian cited Zuckerberg's post on Saturday as saying.

"We know people want accurate information. We've been working on this problem for a long time and we take this responsibility seriously," the Facebook CEO said.

In our opinion, it is unfair on the part of Facebook getting blamed for this. The first go-to method to get rid of the fake news is not depending on Facebook for news. Facebook is a social network website and not a news portal. People should start using other reliable sources to gather news and happenings around the world.

Keeping self-resistance aside, four students have now developed a new algorithm in the form of Chrome extension which will display which stories are verified and which are not. The team (FiB) consisting Nabanita De, Anant Goel, Qinglin Chen and Mark Craft went on to become the winners of hackathon held at Princeton University when they were posed with the recent fake news issue.

Interestingly, they managed to build the algorithm in just 36 hours and claim that it is an open-source project which means other developers with working development knowledge can further help improve this project.

First Published : Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - 10:26




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