Friday, November 18, 2016

On Facebook, Fake News, and the Election

There has been a flurry of stories regarding fake news on Facebook and what role it may have had on the election outcome.  Some of these stories are summarized on my Facebook page.  The above clip features Craig Silverman discussing a study he did looking at the engagement (likes, comments, and shares with their friends) that the fake news sites were receiving relative to established news sources such as the Washington Post and the New York TimesIt showed elevated engagement right before the election.

Facebook and Google have said that they will crackdown on these sites to control the amount of misinformation on the web.  Facebook is now one of my largest traffic sources and Google is the owner of blogspot where this site is based.  I am concerned about how these sites will 'crack down'.  

Fact checking is time consuming.  The more obscure the fact the longer it takes to check.  This is not a fake news site though it may not be considered mainstream.  Will an algorithm be used to filter these sites.  I am concerned about how a computer algorithm will eliminate these sites.  Could someone who objects to my site report it and have it blackballed?  The internet is still like the Wild West and it takes work to filter out what is true and what is not. Who can process all of the information.

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