A debate has been going on these days regarding the abundance of fake news that’s floating on Facebook. The issue has been highlighted even more so due to the recent presidential elections in the United States and there are theories that perhaps the fake news played a major part in influencing people who ultimately went out to vote in the new president. A new report by Gizmodo claims that Facebook had a fix for its fake news problem but apparently it was too afraid to use it.
The report claims that high-level Facebook executives were briefed about an update that weeded out hoaxes and fake news but the tool was never put into place over concerns of “upsetting conservatives.”
The tool is said to have heavily affected right-wing media. It was reportedly shelved after it was revealed that the human team in charge of curating news for the Trending Topics section looked down more favorably on liberal topics.
It then replaced the team with an algorithm but that didn’t stop fake news from surfacing in Trending Topics. Facebook then made an update to News Feed which favored stories from a user’s friends and family instead of spam and clickbait headlines.
According to The New York Times, even though Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg maintains that “99 percent of what people see [on Facebook] is authentic,” some of the company’s top executives were asking each other whether the world’s largest social network had inadvertently influenced the crucial election which saw Donald Trump come out on top.
Facebook has released an official statement in response to the story. It says that “The article’s allegation is not true. We did not build and withhold any News Feed changes based on their potential impact on any one political party.”
Filed in Facebook.. Read more about