A big debate is on about the impact of facebook’s fake news on the US election. The impact doesn’t end there. While Mark Zuckerberg denies any such possibility, the analysis presents a different picture. During the whole presidential election, the top 20 Facebook’s fake news had way more engagement than the real news sites.
Media wants engagement
There was a time when viral news had no existence. The purpose of media was to keep people informed. Then came the Facebook and people started spending most of the time on it. Now it became necessary for the media to come on board with the Facebook. The race of virality started.
People on the web wanted compelling content to stay, and Facebook just offered that. The more users it got, the more it gained from ads. Now people were left with a little time to read anything else, and Facebook became the primary source of their information.
The purpose of media changed with time. Now they only generate content to get engagement. They don’t care by what means. They show the people what they want to see be it a real or a fake news.
Media created a trump
A trump in America called Donald Trump was not a trump at all. He would have nothing if it were not for media. But again, media covered him extensively because users liked hearing about him.
The reason for the rise of fake news on Facebook is no different. Users read these and share these. More traffic is more profit. People are more interested compelling content than real ones and not offering them what they want is not good business.
Why fake news should get fixed
So should the fake news get fixed? A lot of us believe it should. Mark Zuckerberg believes that false news content at Facebook are in a tiny amount and that cannot influence the election of US. What he forgets is the network has some algorithms. Fake news travels faster than epidemics.
In the race of engagement, Facebook would display the little amount of compelling news higher while it would bury the real news. The threat is not only for the American Democracy but to the whole world. So the fake news must be blocked in favor of humanity.
Why Facebook shouldn’t do it
Digging deeper into the business of Facebook, we would get a feeling that it should not fix the issue. The Facebook is not going to earn any incentive on this and be clear; Facebook is a business.
Facebook currently is facing bigger competitions. Not focusing on user engagement and reading habits would decrease the traffic on the site. Moreover, there isn’t any decider that could separate what’s fake and what’s real. There is just a fine line or no line at all. Is it workable to block the tiny whirls of false news on Facebook among the ocean of content?
What could be the solution
Being well aware of the impact that Facebook can have on the opinions of the social people, it’s crucial to have a mid path. Some sources are so downright fake that they can be filtered with transparency. There must be some options for the users where they can ensure the credibility of the sources. If users don’t want to research, you must at least give them the option to access the right sources.
So keeping all the facts intact, the Facebook should take steps to the extent that it doesn’t have to compromise its competitive position.
What’s your take on the whole issue? Share your thoughts.