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Facebook and fake news

When false news becomes the mainstream

Matthew Gonzalez, Contributor

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Fake news is affecting the way we think. Social media platforms have recently been hit with fake news posts that affect politics, cause concern with hoax celebrity deaths, and promote propaganda. Unlike news satire, fake news websites seek to mislead, rather than entertain readers for financial, political, or other gain.

Fake news websites successfully attract attention from large audiences by website spoofing – making the reader believe it is a trusted and legitimate source. Fake news is an unethical journalistic practice that has existed in print media before the internet existed and transformed even today.

Facebook, a major asset of sharing news articles through friends and family, is trying to combat fake news by using a new IOS feature in selective territories.

After receiving threats of fines, and constantly deflecting the blame, Facebook is now choosing to stop the acquisitions of influencing the spread of fake news. This is an amazing tactic due to the fact that the Presidential elections are coming up in both France and Germany.

According to Forbes.com, Facebook users will now have the option to mark a story as false, in which a Facebook team will then look through pre-approved publications for fact checking. If the story is inaccurate it will be marked with a ‘disputed tag’, have its advertising revenue removed and placed lower in news feeds. The author accredits Donald Trump’s presidential election as one of the reasons for this update. Even though there is no data constructed as of yet, the influence of future elections is on the line and Facebook wants to solve this issue. The concern for some users is that real news will be tagged as fake. Another issue is the type of people who would proudly spread false news and wear the ‘disputed’ tag as a badge of honor. Facebook is leading the movement against fake news allegations and the world has a lot to anticipate for.

People now have the capability of influencing mainstream media. There is now a say on what ‘acceptable news’ is. Users that are against mainstream media might have a confirmation bias on what they accept as ‘real news’. Users of ‘fake news’ supporters will blame mainstream media as silencing their opinion. Similarly to Reddit, corporations would have a huge influence if they were to “buy” their votes to the top and be deemed as marketable to the average Facebook user if they were headlined as legitimate. The issue of solving the spread of “fake “news may lead to corporates fighting for public opinion.

According to a mass email sent out by the Office of Vice Provost for Diversity and Engaged Learning, the University is having a workshop on March 7, about “Fake News, Social Media and the Future of American Democracy” hosted in the U-SU Theatre.  The Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Engaged Learning is also hosting workshops, presentations, and discussion panels designed to engage and help the campus community to better understand the recent forthcoming of Executive Orders. For additional information about this event and other’s hosted by office visit: http://www.calstatela.edu/academicaffairs/diversity/democracy-action-events

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Facebook and fake news