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Facebook’s share button claimed to be the biggest reason for misinformation spread online

Facebook has long been accused of being the hub of spread of misinformation. The research aspects of this particular claim show that the leading cause of misinformation on Facebook is the ‘Share’ button. According to some researches, people are four times likely to see a misinformed post when it is spread through the share button and when that particular post is re-shared by the viewer the viewing chances go up to almost nine to ten times.

Apart from this, study shows in regions like India where population is immense misinformation is spread really quick through this share button. Apart from this, most posts which are spread quickly are generally those which contain spicy and controversial information and the news spread is so quick that it goes across millions, without even a single one stopping to think about the fact if it could be true or not.

So what should Facebook do? Remove the share button entirely?

Well, it is not like the tech giant hasn’t tried doing that. Last year, Facebook (now called Meta) introduced a sharing limit on its messaging app ‘WhatsApp’ and according to the new limit feature, users can only share a particular message or post in up to five chats at a time. This has generally reduced the spread of misinformed posts though WhatsApp by 70 percent compared to before. This looks like a great improvement.

However, the point of discussion here is not WhatsApp, but Meta’s main app called Facebook itself.

Facebook a few years back did try to remove the share button as a part of testing. The share button was then changed by a message button which enabled users to send a particular post directly in the inbox. However, the idea did not sit well with many people and the engagement on the applications spiraled downhill. Facebook then backed off from the idea.

The current allegations and proofs from Facebook former employee Frances Haugen’s and her lawyer are moving with the legal actions and are forcing for Facebook to be removed from the App Stores. They claim to say that Facebook keeps profit over security and it for long has been a source of people who go through self-consciousness and mental health issues. Facebook though has still not spoken on the matter.

What are your thoughts on this?



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