By: Paige Sander
Facebook has been under fire recently after research revealed a portion of the news that appears on our timelines may be fake. Mark Zuckerberg has been addressing the issue and claims that fake news outlets accounts for a very small percentage of Facebook’s content. This article published by Politico revealed that Facebook still needs to take major steps to filter these stories.
Many believe that these discrepancies during the election may have swayed people’s decision. Some of the fake stories’ headlines included Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump and that an FBI agent involved in Clinton’s investigation had been murdered. Zuckerberg denied the claim that stories like these had any effect on the election, but that he’s taking misinformation seriously. Unfortunately, further research would have easily confirmed the falsity of these stories, but were quickly moving into a society where trust in social media is growing.
This story got almost 10,000 shares and originated on a ‘rumor’ site just days before the 2016 election. I think these recent discoveries and the failure of the polls to predict this election highlights the new age of media that were moving towards. The speed at which society moves is constantly increasing and a deep interest in accurate information is fading. Facts are the cornerstone of the media industry and with the world’s largest social media outlet reporting false information, the public can be negatively affected.
I think there has been a huge disconnect in the media from the public and I think they are out of touch with what truly is newsworthy. The fact that our media outlets are naturally associated with a political party completely summarizes the issues with news today. The entire purpose is to be unbiased and I feel political and social trends are warping people’s perception of reporting and consuming news.
Social media is such a powerful tool and the speed at which we can consume information is amazing, but it’s incidents like these that negatively affect all of media’s benefits. The importance of doing personal research over news topics is vital when conducting public relations and communication in general. By consuming or reposting fake news, the public is cultivated recognition of something completely false. This could potentially influence people’s opinions, which is why I think it’s important this is taken so seriously. I hope Mark Zuckerberg is working to implement solutions and that society begins further questioning the content they consume on their media outlets.