Facebook Fakenews Flagging Failure

Facebook is getting rid of its fake news red flags because they were?making fabricated media reports appear more believable to its users.

The social network began showing?”disputed”?warnings next to articles in December to alert people that third party fact-checking websites deemed them misleading.


However, it seems that after a year of trials, Facebook users were not shamed by Zuckerberg’s bullying, but proudly shared those articles even more… oh dear!

It will now show a selection of ?related articles? next to offending stories instead.? These will give more context and could help people learn the facts surrounding a situation through reputable media publications.

The U-turn was prompted by research suggesting users would actually believe fake news?even if it was flagged as incorrect or a misleading.

“Academic research on correcting misinformation has shown that putting a strong image, like a red flag, next to an article may actually entrench deeply held beliefs ? the opposite effect to what we intended,” Facebook product manager Tessa Lyons wrote in a blog-post.

It conducted research which suggested that false news stories with?”related articles” next to it were shared fewer times?than those highlighted with a red flag.

“False news undermines the unique value that Facebook offers: the ability for you to connect with family and friends in meaningful ways. It?s why we?re investing in better technology and more people to help prevent the spread of misinformation,” Lyons wrote.

(or, maybe, Facebook undermines the ability for you to connect with family and friends in meaningful ways? )

“Overall, we?re making progress. Demoting false news (as identified by fact-checkers) is one of our best weapons because demoted articles typically lose 80 percent of their traffic. This destroys the economic incentives spammers and troll farms have to generate these articles in the first place.”[…]

Who checks the checkers? The “fact-checkers” appeared to be a fairly left-wing bunch of self-referencing, self-appointed “guardians of the truth”.

Social media and blogs tend to become self-reinforcing so Facebook’s attempts are probably doomed to further failure:

Pundits have long warned of social networking?s tendency to create ?ideological echo chambers,? which constantly reinforce users? existing beliefs while insulating them from arguments on the other side. Indeed, most people can attest to the effect themselves from a glance over their own newsfeeds.? Post Gazette

For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.??Ignatius of Loyola?