Be afraid. Be very afraid. There’s Fake news on Facebook! And there are a hundred million analogies out there that could be compared to the travesty that this brings. There’s blood in the valley, there’s corruption in offices, there’s treachery in the hearts and minds of the so-called patriots that are tasked with running governments. And there’s something untoward in the agenda of the conspirators of our time. Those who lobby for an idea, those who “rabble-rouse” for reasons best known to their own selves. But truthfully speaking, there’s something equally savage about those who go onto spread fake news. And what can be better for the spreaders of misleading information than engaging in social media?
After all, it’s considered a weapon for the destructive minds out there, isn’t it? So even as we realize that there’s Fake news on Facebook- a dominant bit of truth of our times- what are we doing about it. No, it’s not about preaching?
It’s just a simple and normal call to action. See it, identify it and know that it can cause harm. But then, just how many of us are able to decode what is true and what isn’t?
We know that while there’s no doubting the contagion called misinformation- and spy novel readers would recollect the usage of the term “False Flag” operations- the key is to understand a simple fact.
The hard bit of truth that the very medium that’s eradicating boundaries between humans, converging interaction and ideas under one social media roof is a hero on one hand, and a vile evil on the other because after all, there’s fake news on Facebook!
So what are the underlying facts here? What do we ought to know?
Time and again, it has been told that access to fake information is far easier today since the means of communicating an idea or an ideology have only outnumbered the ones in the past. But then, the very fact that the presence of fake news on Facebook is far worse than it is on other mediums- Twitter included- makes the concern a burning one.
Does it not?
In that regard, what Forbes had to say about the spread of Fake News on Facebook makes it worthy to know what’s really happening today:
A team of researchers led by Andrew Guess of Princeton University tracked the internet use of over 3000 Americans in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election. They found Facebook to be the referrer site for untrustworthy news sources over 15% of the time. By contrast, Facebook referred users to authoritative news sites only 6% of the time.
The authors state, “This pattern of differential Facebook visits immediately prior to untrustworthy website visits is not observed for Google (3.3% untrustworthy news versus 6.2% hard news) or Twitter (1% untrustworthy versus 1.5% hard news).”
Now while it isn’t that easy to change the mind of say, someone like a voter, especially since many desire to affect one’s thinking adversely using misinformation through political messaging, the truth is in front of us.
Efforts are constantly on, and we cannot possibly ignore the whole rise of disinformation during the famous Trump election (into power) and the Russian meddling into the affairs.
Such things have happened. If gone unchecked, such things will happen again.
Moreover, even as those who still love to follow hard news and factual news are around, it doesn’t mean that they do not have the tendencies to not visit websites that do, as a matter of fact, spread fake news.
The same thought was echoed here by the Forbes report that went onto explain:
the researchers found that while a significant portion of Americans visited at least one untrustworthy news site during the final weeks of the 2016 election campaign (44.3% to be exact), it did not replace their appetite for hard news.