Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the idea that fake news spread on Facebook influenced the outcome of the U.S. election is "crazy."
Still, most Americans said that they get at least some news from social media, mostly Facebook, per the Pew Research Center. While a lot of this news comes from established outlets - whether CNN or BuzzFeed News, misinformation spreads viral on Facebook just as information does, shared by users, recommended by software and amplified by both.
Sources of bogus information has ranged from news articles produced by "content farms" for the sole purpose of getting clicks, to "hyper partisan" sites from both sides of the political gamut, roiling out stories that are deceptive at best.
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Information shows, Is it possible that voters were swayed for or against a candidate, much like those same people might buy a product after seeing an ad on Facebook?
During an interview Thursday with "The Facebook Effect" author David Kirkpatrick, Zuckerberg said idea that people voted the way they did because of bogus information on Facebook shows a "profound lack of empathy" for supporters of Donald Trump. "Voters make decisions based on their lived experience," he said.
Given the bitter political contest from which the US just emerged, when countless longtime friends, even family, were unfriended, many are left to wonder if there would be an alternative American history being written today if it were not for Facebook, Twitter and the like.
This was, after all, the first truly "social media" election, playing out on Twitter and Facebook as much or more than it did on major TV networks, in living rooms and around watercoolers.
But isn't social media being just a reflection of our world as it exists? Has Facebook become an easy dupe when the answer is far knottier?
Subsequently, Fake Stories Ahead Of The Election Began To Trend
"We take misinformation on Facebook very seriously," Adam Mosseri, the executive in charge of Facebook's news feed, said in a statement to the tech blog TechCrunch this week. "We value authentic communication, and hear consistently from those who use Facebook that they prefer not to see misinformation."
Facebook admits that it has more work to do, and it seems to be we put a lot of faith in the power of data, artificial intelligence in this life and algorithms as the solution of every problem.
Just this summer, Facebook fired the small group of journalists in charge of its "trending" items and replaced them with an calculation. The agitator appeared to be a report in a tech blog, based on an unidentified source, that the editors routinely suppressed prudent viewpoints.