The social network continues to wage war against fake news, and a new Facebook button is being tested, to provide users with additional context, and information from different sources in order to portray a fuller, more neutral and objective coverage of news.
The new Facebook button is designed to infuse a generous amount of truthfulness into all the propaganda and sensationalism running amok on the platform with many websites blatantly peddling lies and half truths, stirring up the passions of susceptible citizens.
“This new feature is designed to provide people some of the tools they need to make an informed decision about which stories to read, share, and trust. It reflects feedback from our community, including many publishers who collaborated on its development as part of our work through the Facebook Journalism Project.” per Andrew Anker, Sara Su, and Jeff Smith on the Facebook Newsroom.
Pulling out information from additional sources on the platform, and elsewhere on the internet such as information from the publisher’s Wikipedia entry, a button to follow their Page, trending articles or related articles about the topic, and information about how the article is being shared by people on Facebook.”
If and when Facebook finds more information unavailable, it plans on being pretty straightforward and letting people know which they claim “can also be helpful context.”
Facebook also claims that in the United States, only 53% of Americans trust the news sources they read and refer to, and thus the new Facebook button allows them to know more, instantly and without having to leave their News Feed.
Facebook Pages may not see much change in the distribution of their posts in people’s News Feeds, and the only Pages that have reason to worry are the ones not adhering to Facebook’s pre specified publishing best practices.
Fake News is highly prevelant on social media platforms, and more so on Facebook. One of the most recent incidents that I personally encountered, and then verified was when one PostCard News, known to peddle right wing propaganda pushed out a story claiming the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had fulfilled his promise of depositing 15Lakh rupees in the accounts of every Indian citizen.
PostCard News has been called out multiple times for using unrelated images and conjuring fake news out of thin air, and it continues to be popular among the gullible readers and social media audience.officials and representatives have fallen prey to fake news stories on Facebook and other platforms, only to have been embarrassed later.
BJP MP Paresh Rawal is the most recent example of the same when he fell for a fake news story regarding Arundhati Roy and tweeted first, verified his sources later.
This is the perfect example of Facebook’s uphill battle to contain and eliminate the spread of fake news on their platform that fractures the unity, integrity and secular fabric of society.