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This New Study Shows Facebook’s Fake News Problem is Worse Than We Thought

Facebook has long been the leading social media platform in the world, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its fair share of detractors. One of the most valid criticisms that end up being levied against Facebook has to do with the fact that the platform has become a haven for fake news. A study conducted by researchers over at New York University in collaboration with the Université Grenoble Alpes revealed that the problem might be far worse than we had initially realized.

It turns out that the engagement rate for misinformation on Facebook is six times higher than what actual (and fact) news tends to get. Fake news and misinformation often present really radical ideas and they attempt to indicate that these ideas can’t be refuted. This ends up being a perfect storm in a social media setting, and it could be argued that Facebook’s own algorithm tends to make the problem even worse than it might have otherwise ended up being. This certainly does seem to be the case when you see that misinformation gets more shares, likes as well as comments than actual news sites do, and it casts a lot of doubt on whether or not Facebook would truly be capable of solving the problem in the way that they claim to be working on.

Facebook is actually impeding investigations into its algorithm by cutting off a tool that researchers used to track engagement. While the social media platform claims that this is due to regulations put in place by the Federal Trade Commision, the FTC itself has said that this is not the case. There is clearly a lot that Facebook is trying to hide, and it will be difficult for people to trust the platform unless it starts to behave in a more upfront manner about what is truly going on.


H/T: WashingtonPost.

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