Fake news is a problem because it misleads where it can cause wrong perceptions, although the impact of fake news probably peaked during the US elections where many believed that the amount of fake news making their rounds had impacted the outcome of the elections. Turns out that over in France, they are facing a similar problem as well.
In a report from Reuters, it seems that there are social media accounts that are being generated automatically which are then used to flood the country with fake news ahead of the elections. A study conducted by Oxford University researchers found that a quarter of political links shared on social media platforms like Twitter was fake, although the researchers are saying that it isn’t quite as severe compared to the recent US presidential campaign.
While the study was based on links shared on Twitter, Kevin Limonier of the University of Paris VIII suggested that a greater role was being played by Facebook. The social media platform has since suspended more than 30,000 accounts that are suspected to have been automated.
To be fair, Facebook has announced that they are working on trying to curb fake news. They have been resorting to all kinds of tactics, such as putting warning labels, taking away advertising opportunities for publications that publish such news, and so on, although it is clear from this that this is still very much a problem that needs to be dealt with.