Facebook tweak trending formula to combat ‘fake news’
If you pay any attention to current affairs and the news, then you will certainly have come across the phrase ‘fake news’ over the last few weeks and months. Facebook are one of the companies associated with the issue, and so they are now having to take steps to combat it, or at least be seen to be doing so.
So, what exactly is fake news, and why has it been discussed so much in print and broadcast media lately? Fake news is the term used for inaccurate, false and deceiving news that is, with or without malice, masking as verified and credible information.
This has been in the spotlight over the last few months because a number of media commentators have pointed to the spread of fake news as one of the reasons behind the rise in support for populist politicians and growing global disenchantment.
Facebook were one of the many companies to receive a lot of bad press around the subject of fake news, as they were often the chosen platform for these mischievous and disingenuous articles. If you look at it from the point of view of whoever creates these fake stories, it makes perfect sense – if they want their stories shared, circulated and discussed, why not sneak it onto the world’s most popular social media platform?
During this bad press, Facebook were keen to point out that they view themselves as sharers of news, not gatekeepers or publishers, but it appears as this may be about to change slightly. The California-based social media company have announced that they will be tweaking their ‘trending topics’ feature, which they hope will combat the problem of this fake news.
Kyle O’Brien, writing in The Drum, has reported: ‘One change is the displaying of a headline from a publisher’s article about the topic. The headline that appears will be automatically selected based on a combination of factors, including the engagement around the article on Facebook, the engagement around the publisher overall, and whether other articles are linking to it. Once a topic is clicked on, viewers will be taken to a personalized results page that includes extra sources and posts.’
Facebook said in a blog post: ‘These changes begin rolling out today and will be available to everyone in the US in the coming weeks. We’re listening to people’s feedback and will continue to make improvements in order to provide a valuable Trending experience.’
Dominion holds Facebook in its Global Trends Managed Fund.
If you would you like to receive the Newsfeeds daily, please click here to sign up now!Help us make this Newsfeed better by rating this article. 1 star = Poor and 5 stars = Excellent
- Click here to print this story: Print
The views expressed in this article are those of the author at the date of publication and not necessarily those of Dominion Fund Management Limited. The content of this article is not intended as investment advice and will not be updated after publication. Images, video, quotations from literature and any such material which may be subject to copyright is reproduced in whole or in part in this article on the basis of Fair use as applied to news reporting and journalistic comment on events.