Fake News – Yup

By: William Branch
@VellyVell87

The election was an interesting one to say the least. Trump’s, excuse me, president-elect Trump’s campaign has set precedents; resulting in an apology from The New York Times, as well as amazement from multiple news outlets and political pundits. Reasons were given as to why everyone credible seemingly got it wrong.

Recently there’s been another finger pointed.

Towards fake, internet news site.

Fake news sites similar to the ones seen on Facebook feeds and Google result’s page (example below).

facebook-fake-news-example
Photo Cred: Facebook

 

Social media is rife with unverified, and unsubstantiated information. Misinformation shared from person to ‘like-minded’ person resulting in a one-sided narrative. Commonly referred to as the ‘Echo Chamber Effect’, it is the process of individuals gathering news from other likeminded individuals online or off, further enforcing their own narrative resulting in a skewed-view of facts and opinions.

It is what led many to believe and share false stories posted as news from “hoax-writers” such as Paul Horner and hoax-sites such as the National Report. Buzzfeed reported in an article October of this year on the increase in false or misleading information on Facebook Pages. With the alarming number of occurrences where inaccurate information or outright lies are shared as truth it is very disconcerting to know that people are frequently being duped into believing such nonsense.

To combat the problem Google and Facebook recently announced that they will be putting a ban on fake-news content.

As reported by The New York Times on November 14th, Google plans on fixing their AdSense System algorithm to analyze sites based on “automated and human reviews” in order to restrict pages that “misrepresent, misstate or conceal information”. Facebook will update its Facebook Audience Network policy to place a restriction on fake news sites, specifically.

All in an effort to quell the furor around the hand fake-news sites had in ‘potentially’ influencing the election.

References:

Wingfield, Nick, Isaac, Mike and Benner, Katie. “Google And Facebook Take Aim At Fake News Site”. TheNewYorkTimes, 14 Nov. 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/technology/google-will-ban-websites-that-host-fake-news-from-using-its-ad-service.html?_r=0. Accessed 18 Nov. 2016.

Dewey, Caitlin. “Facebook Fake-News Writer: ‘I Think Donald Trump Is In The White House Because Of Me’”. WashingtonPost, 17 Nov. 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/11/17/facebook-fake-news-writer-i-think-donald-trump-is-in-the-white-house-because-of-me/. Accessed 18 Nov. 2016.

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism