Myth-busting operatives in Facebook’s misinformation “war room” should be monitoring harmful public health messages as well as fake news, a leading vaccine expert has said. Large measles outbreaks in Europe and the United States have put the issue of vaccine hesitancy at the top of the agenda, with growing concern over the role that “anti-vaxxers” play on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Facebook has said that it is “exploring additional measures to best combat the problem”. In an interview with The Telegraph, Dr Seth Berkley, chief executive of Gavi, an organisation that provides vaccines to the world’s poorest countries, said that distrust of vaccines was a growing problem, with social media amplifying and spreading anti-vaccine messages “at the speed of light”. He highlighted Facebook’s much vaunted “war room”, a new facility at the company's California headquarters where up to 40 … [Read more...] about Facebook fake news ‘war room’ should target anti-vaxxers
Facebook fake news
The Facebook video is nuts, but I can't tear my eyes away. A plane, struggling in a huge storm, does a 360-degree flip before safely landing and letting out terrified passengers. It turns out the video is totally bunk, spliced together from a computer-generated clip and unrelated real news footage. But that didn't stop the Facebook post from arriving in my News Feed via a friend last month. I watched it. Maybe you did, too: It has nearly 14 million views. Everyone now knows the web is filled with lies. So then how do fake Facebook posts, YouTube videos and tweets keep making suckers of us?To find out, I conducted a forensic investigation of the fake that fooled my social network. I found the original creator of that CG plane clip. I spoke to the Facebook executive charged with curbing misinformation. And I confronted my friend who shared it.The motives for a crazy plane report may be different from posts misdirecting American voters or fueling genocide in Myanmar. Yet some of the … [Read more...] about Essay: I fell for Facebook fake news. Here’s why millions of you did, too.
Reality has had a tough year. When the president of the United States is denying that thousands of Americans died in a hurricane, journalists face an uphill battle. That battle has been particularly fraught on social networks, where malicious actors have spent the past several years peddling hoaxes and sowing division. But today I bring you at least one reason for optimism. “Trends in the Diffusion of Misinformation on Social Media,” a new study from authors at Stanford University and New York University, analyzed the performance of stories posted on fake news sites from January 2015 to July 2018. Here’s what they found (emphasis mine): Interactions with these sites on both Facebook and Twitter rose steadily through the end of 2016. Interactions then fell sharply on Facebook while they continued to rise on Twitter, with the ratio of Facebook engagements to Twitter shares falling by approximately 60 percent. We see no similar pattern for other news, business, or … [Read more...] about Facebook beats Twitter at fighting fake news, a new study found
Alex Hardiman always speaks softly. Leading a team meeting in a conference room at Facebook's New York office, where a cardboard cutout of a NASA astronaut leans in a corner next to an arrangement of corporate motivational posters (EMPATHY. Have some!), Hardiman places all five fingertips on the wood table in front of her. She gives her feedback in numbered lists. Moving from her first thought to the next, she lifts and lowers her hand like she's playing simple chords on a piano. To put something in context, she prefaces sentences with "In a world..." "In a world where people with different viewpoints and opinions cannot come together around a shared set of facts," she tells me in an interview. "That's a very dangerous place to be." In her hushed, measured tone, it may sound like the most placid movie trailer ever. But make no mistake, Hardiman and her colleagues are on the kind of high-stakes mission that's ripe for cinematic retelling. They're trying to wipe aside fake news from … [Read more...] about The cure for Facebook’s fake news infection? It might be these women
Facebook has a lot of problems right now, but one that’s definitely not going away any time soon is fake news. As the company’s user base has grown to include more than a quarter of the world’s population, it has (understandably) struggled to control what they all post and share. For Facebook, unwanted content can be anything from mild nudity to serious violence, but what’s proved to be most sensitive and damaging for the company is hoaxes and misinformation — especially when it has a political bent. So what is Facebook going to do about it? At the moment, the company doesn’t seem to have a clear strategy. Instead, it’s throwing a lot at the wall and seeing what works. It’s hired more human moderators (as of February this year it had around 7,500); it’s giving users more information in-site about news sources; and in a recent interview, Mark Zuckerberg suggested that the company might set up some sort of independent body to rule on … [Read more...] about Why AI isn’t going to solve Facebook’s fake news problem