7.06.2017

Facebook Will Soon Start Hiding Fake News

"Low Quality Content" to Become Less Visible


In an effort to stop “low-quality links”, Facebook has stated they will soon begin hiding posts from people who share lots of clickbait or fake articles. According to Facebook’s research, a small group of users is "routinely sharing vast amounts of public posts per day". As a result, Facebook will reduce the visibility of posts from those users.

Facebook’s new policy will apply to specific links and sites. Know someone who spends all day on Buzzfeed? Your feed should look a bit less crowded soon. Pages, videos, photos, check-ins, and status updates won’t be affected, so users won’t just “disappear” from the platform. The company has stated its objective is to make people’s news feeds more “informative”.

“Stopping fake news has been a problem in the media recently, but there is no easy solution.”

Stopping fake news has been a problem in the media recently, but there is no easy solution. Vetting millions of articles daily, whether manually or through some program will take a huge amount of resources. There is also no one definition for “fake news”. Parody and political satire are protected under the First Amendment, but could fall under a wide enough definition. Not to mention, Facebook is a private company and as such isn't bound by the First Amendment, despite its massive user base.

As usual, the specific metrics for when a user is “spamming” our feeds is left vague. People on Facebook do have the option to hide posts from friends and pages they don’t want to hear from, but that still requires the user to make a conscious decision. A study by the University of Stanford found students from middle school through college weren’t able to distinguish fake news from real much of the time. This has dangerous implications for the evermore connected world, but can we really let Facebook tell us what is real and what is not?