…And Facebook knows it.
By now, we’re sure you’ve heard the rumors of fake news stories crowding the newsfeeds of Facebook’s over one billion monthly users. You may have even seen some of these stories – everything from false celebrity gossip to misguided political reports – which have appeared on the “trending news” bar of your Facebook home screen over the past year. The obvious problem here? Users have a very difficult time distinguishing between falsely reported news and legitimate news – especially when it’s all reported in the same place. For that reason, fake news stories were shared millions of times last year – performing among the top news content on Facebook in 2016 – and even began to incite real political debates, fights, and acts of violence. In other words, the mass sharing of fake news – on a scale unparalleled by anything the world has really ever seen before – has some serious negative side effects.