Millions of people hop on Facebook every day, so it’s no wonder that most of them get some form of their news from the social media giant. But how accurate and genuine are the stories being told on this free-for-all information platform? “Pope Francis Shocks The World, Endorses Donald Trump.” That was the number one shared news post on Facebook during the election. The problem? It’s 100% fake. So how does one create completely false propaganda and influence millions of people? Easy — just post it on social media.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Facebook, took to the stage on Friday to alleviate the growing tension between users and news media, telling the press “We’ve made significant progress, but there is more work to be done.” While he has admitted that there needs to be a level of accountability within the content posted on his site, he also is hesitant to tamper with the freedom of speech of users stating, “We do not want to be arbiters of truth ourselves, but instead rely on our community and trusted third parties. We have relied on our community to help us understand what is fake and what is not. Anyone on Facebook can report any link as false, and we use signals from those reports along with some others — like people sharing links to myth-busting sites such as Snopes — to understand which stories we can confidently classify as misinformation.”
It is clear that Facebook faces a long and hard road ahead of them to filter out the outrageous and flat out lies, but then again, don’t the American people feed on such B.S.? I mean let’s be honest, who doesn’t love to read about an alien baby being born in Idaho? Gossip magazines have been around for years, so will Facebook be the digital version of the National Enquirer?