Fighting Fake News

By Melissa Neilson
Jan 17,2017
516
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The 2016 U.S. presidential campaign taught us all a lot about how the web can influence people's opinions. Misinformation is fast, easy, and cheap to produce; super profitable; and capable of severely impacting public perception of candidates.  

Obviously not something that we at Websnare, who create and distribute web content, were excited to see revealed.

But every problem represents an opportunity. And true to form, web designers, product designers, and developers worldwide have jumped at the opportunity to fix this particular broken window. Here's just a small sampling:

  • Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg called the percentage of fake news “relatively small,” but went on to outline 7 steps Facebook is taking to help fight misinformation.
  • A group of university students has built a Chrome plugin called FiB that labels news stories as “verified” or “unverified” right inside the Facebook UI.
  • Google and Facebook have both stated that they’ll limit the flow of ad dollars to fake news sites via their advertising tools.
  • Popular Twitter account Saved You A Click launched a spinoff called Saved You A Trick to identify fake news stories.

Ultimately, the more programmatic methods and monetary methods proposed by Facebook, Google, and the FiB team will prove the most scalable and effective. But more human methods like a stronger commitment to journalistic ethics and tools and resources designed to help people be better readers will undoubtedly be needed as well.

Because as with any attempt to control the flow of information, there’s always the possibility of control being exercised the wrong way. And that means it’s ultimately up to us to stop the creation and spread of misinformation.

Last modified on Jan 17,2017
Published in Blogs

Your Comment