Facebook Plans to Fight Fake News with User Surveys

Jan 22

Facebook is now trying out a new strategy to combat fake news. In a surprising move, the social media giant feels that the best way to handle the issue is by surveying the users themselves on which news sources they think are trustworthy.

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the issue on his Page.

“We could try to make that decision ourselves, but that’s not something we’re comfortable with. We considered asking outside experts, which would take the decision out of our hands but would likely not solve the objectivity problem. Or we could ask you—the community—and have your feedback determine the ranking.”

To rank the trustworthiness of news sources, Facebook plans to implement an ongoing online survey where it would ask users whether they trust a particular online news report. In effect, the readers would determine what’s fake and what’s not.

Of course, Facebook’s solution to fake news is not without its critics. Despite its claims that user surveys will offer the most objective outcome, some say that the company is just taking the path of the least responsibility.

Meanwhile, others fear that Facebook’s new strategy might not help combat fake news at all. In fact, there are concerns that the move could “wind up exacerbating Facebook’s fake news problem,” according to Salon.com.

For instance, technology analyst Larry Magid expressed the fears that such a strategy could end up giving more weight to “opinions formed from prejudices against, or preference, for certain outlets instead of whether they were trustworthy or accurate.”

“Simply because something is well liked by a percentage of the public, doesn’t mean it’s reliable,” Magid explained. “There are people who love news sites that are objectively untrue—that doesn’t require an opinion, that’s something you can establish by fact.”

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