There seems to be a growing trend of fake news stories on social media networks like Facebook. To many people who see these stories, they are not aware that the stories are fake. Why would they? If you see a Facebook post, how often do you judge whether the information is real or not? Sometimes if it just sounds convincing, then it will be easy to believe whatever the story is.
According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, less than 1% of all Facebook posts contain fake news stories. However, there have been a growing number of media reports which suggest that fake news stories are spreading quickly on Facebook. In fact, these fake stories are believed to have helped Donald Trump win the presidential election. The first fake story that was said to have changed people’s minds about the election had the title: “FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead.”
Although Zuckerberg does not believe Facebook is responsible for Trump winning, he is finally starting to address the fake news issue on the website. Zuckerberg claims the ability to prevent misinformation on Facebook is a complicated problem. In order to stop fake news stories from being posted, Facebook would have to come up with a sophisticated piece of technology that could detect when misinformation is posted. This would take a long time to do and it would probably be very glitchy. They say it is much easier to just have other users flag down posts that contain misinformation. As for Facebook Ads, actions have already been made to prevent fake news sites from purchasing ads on Facebook.
It is estimated that 44% of Americans get their news from Facebook. For some Americans who are very political, they may not have enough common sense to be able to tell a fake political news story from a real one. This is especially true if they are against a particular politician or political party and just want to believe the worst about them. So, when a fake news story comes along that gives them this, they are quick to believe it.