Following months of deliberation, it appears that Facebook is ready to fight fake news.
It has become increasingly common for people to find questionable information on the platform; s Stories that may sound real, but turn out to have little basis in reality.
Now the company wants to take action. But are they delving into censorship territory? Or are they not doing enough?
Facebook and Fake News
News that may be less than truthful appearing on social media has been an issue for many years. While it appears the fake news stories came to a head during the recent American presidential elections, there is no doubt social media had this issue in the past.
When anyone is able to post stories through their profile, and making a “news website” is easier than ever, it is not hard to see why fake news has become a common part of social media.
With an internet culture that is all about getting more clicks and advertisement money, there is also a tendency by news outlets to exaggerate stories to get clicks from their audience.
Battling False Stories
Facebook is being very deliberate about how it takes action against the stories that people may call fake news. The company wants to protect its image and user base. It is why they will be removing any story that is fake with the intent of causing harm or violence.
For instance, a person may come across an image or story on their Facebook feed. If they flag it as inciting “violence or physical harm,” it may be removed. But these stories will not be removed purely if they are false. It is only when violence or physical harm come into the picture.
With other stories that may be proven as false, Facebook will take a different approach. Instead of removing the stories, they will reduce the visibility. It means that a person is less likely to see such a story as they are scrolling through Facebook.
Many believe such a move is being made so that Facebook can steer clear of accusations regarding censorship. But many would argue that reducing visibility is a form of censorship in itself.
What Does the Future Hold for Facebook?
The stories concerning Facebook and fake news over the past few years have caused the company’s image to suffer. The company’s stock price is down, earnings reports are showing signs of declining and its popularity among the younger generation is lower than many would have expected.
While the company is surrounded by negative headlines at the moment, many investors believe that it is a good time to pounce on Facebook stock.
The company’s stock is down roughly 20 percent since their Q2 earnings call. Many investors believe that it may stay around that price for a few months, but it will eventually rise.
These are certainly interesting days for Facebook. The company, accused of doing little to stop fake news in the past, is taking steps in that direction.
But as the company tries to find a balance, they risk upsetting everyone. Some will accuse them of censorship, while others suggest they are not doing enough.