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ABC News Company: Fake News

Posted by Sandy Baggs on

ABC News: Facebook Under Fire for Fake News Stories

In the days leading up to the 2016 presidential election, really inflamatory stories were posted on Facebook, including outright lies and misleading headlines.

One headline read, "FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide".

A Buzzfeed study found top left-wing sites published fake or misleading stories about 19% of the time, but top right-wing conservative sites published almost twice as many hoax stories, at 38%.
These viral hoaxes could have really influenced the election, critics say.

Zuckerberg claimed, "99% of what people see on Facebook is authentic."

If Facebook polices its platform, can it be the arbiter of truth? Is Facebook bound by the rules of journalism and editorial responsibility?

This is an ongoing issue Facebook will research.

Here’s How Fake News Works (and How the Internet Can Stop It) | WIRED

At the beginning of 2016, in a small town called Veles, Macedonia, an 18 year old high school student discovered he could make more money than his parents by building fake news sites.

Boris wrote tons of false articles about the US election, most of them salacious. The articles were shared on Facebook, garnering tons of traffic.

Boris' most popular website earned him $16,000 over the course of a few months, way higher than the average Macedonian salary of $371/month.

In the final weeks of the election, there were more than 100 political websites registered to Veles.

The most popular stories were pro-Trump. Trump supporters were more likely to share fake news.

The ads on the fake news sites were from Adsense or AppNexus. Ads stalk you around the Internet, so you're more likely to click. These ads ended up on fake news sites that hadn't been pinpointed yet.

Fake news became one of the major scandals of the 2016 election. Some suspected sites like Boris' helped Trump win.

An NYU/Stanford study found that one fake news story would need to be as persuasive as 36 TV commercials to swing a voter.

Facebook is now partnering with fact-checking organizations like Snopes and Politifact to flag articles that present deliberately misleading content.

Google now cuts off ad revenue to sites with spoof domains like NewYorkTimesPolitics.com.

Some tech companies propose combining algorithms with humans to catch fake news before it spreads.

Philip DeFranco: Why Fake News Is A Problem That's Not Getting Fixed Anytime Soon


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