Following the US election and Brexit, increased focus is being placed on how social networks and search engines can avoid showing “fake news” to users. However, this is a battle that search engines cannot — and more fundamentally, should not — fight alone. With search engines providing a key way people consume information, it is obviously problematic if they can both decide what the truth is and label content as the truth. This power might not be abused now, but there is no guarantee of the safe governance of such organizations in the future. Here are five key ways Google can deal (or already is dealing) with fake news right now. They are: Manually reviewing websites Algorithmically demoting fake news Removing incentives to create fake news Signaling when content has been fact-checked Funding fact-checking organizations 1. Manually reviewing websites Google does have the power to determine who does and does not appear in their various listings. To appear in … [Read more...] about How Google is tackling fake news, and why it should not do it alone
Fake news and its influence on the election dominated headlines for weeks as fabricated news reports went viral and the election results shocked the nation. But fake news is just one tentacle of a troubling and growing trend of fake media content. The headlines simply brought to light what is a much wider problem: the ease and prevalence with which false online information is used to manipulate behavior. The manipulation can be of consumer behavior, business behavior or even the behavior of software triggered by false information fed into its system. Scam artists are strongly motivated to take advantage — recent reports cite Russian hackers who stole up to $5 million a day in advertising revenue by posing as fake users in a scheme tagged by the name “Methbot.” The impact on marketers is particularly hard. As consumers search for information to help make purchase decisions, uncertainty about the veracity of the information they receive impacts the effectiveness of … [Read more...] about The fake information epidemic and how it will hurt local search in 2017
It's been roughly five weeks since the US presidential election and the corresponding fake news scandal. After some initial denial of the problem by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the company (together with Google) got busy to try to cut off ad revenue for fake news sources. Zuckerberg also signaled a user-based approach to the problem late last month in a blog post. He previewed what the site was going to do: Stronger detection. The most important thing we can do is improve our ability to classify misinformation. This means better technical systems to detect what people will flag as false before they do it themselves. Easy reporting. Making it much easier for people to report stories as fake will help us catch more misinformation faster. Third-party verification. There are many respected fact checking organizations and, while we have reached out to some, we plan to learn from many more. Warnings. We are exploring labeling stories that have been flagged as false by third parties or our … [Read more...] about Facebook to use crowdsourcing, fact-checkers and labels to combat fake news
There’s been extensive discussion during the past weeks about Facebook’s fake stories and whether they have contributed to the results of the US elections. Mark Zuckerberg has decided to address this issue and announce Facebook’s future plans. There is a great controversy regarding fake stories on social media and how they may affect users’ opinions over a subject, and Facebook received a significant amount of criticism on its lack of measures to avoid turning misinformation viral. Mark Zuckerberg has decided to speak about this issue, in attempt to defend the popular social platform and most importantly, to announce the network’s future plans on handling similar cases. In fact, he mentioned seven key points about Facebook’s future plans. Stronger detection Facebook is determined to improve its ability to classify misinformation. This will be achieved by enhanced technical systems that will spot the stories will flag as false, even before they … [Read more...] about Did Facebook find a way to deal with fake news?
In late December, the defense minister of Pakistan tweeted an ominous reminder to the leaders of Israel that Pakistan “is a Nuclear state too.” This tweet was in response to a news story in which former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon was quoted as saying, “If Pakistan send ground troops into Syria on any pretext, we will destroy this country with a nuclear attack.” The Pakistan Minister of Defense saw the quote and determined it was a threat to their country. The problem? This threat from Israel was not real; it was reported on a fake news site. Yaalon never said it. There was no quote. Just made up words. Pakistan’s Minister of Defense, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, reacting to a false story from a fake news site. (The original tweet has since been deleted.) So how did we get to this point? A point where leaders of countries are threatening each other because of news that is not merely inaccurate, but utterly fabricated? Fake news in the internet era … [Read more...] about A marketer’s guide to Facebook’s fake news problem and what is being done to fix it