Facebook Continues to Struggle with its Fake News Problem

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Facebook knows how to keep its users using its social media platform, but still hasn’t figured out a way to control the fake news and misinformation that troubled it during the US Presidential election in 2016. The social network is also struggling to regain trust of people as a result.

Top News on Apple News App to be managed by humans

The Cupertino-based iPhone maker, Apple, released a human-curated political news section recently to assist readers in staying away from misinformation surrounding the 2018 midterms. The announcement ignited another strong debate with Facebook about whether it should rely on algorithms or hire people to curate news.

In its “Top News” section and other specialized sections, Apple has hired human editors to curate news content, which it intends to continue doing for the U.S. midterm elections. Currently, it is using a combination of machine learning and human editors to manage more tailored content in personalized feeds for users.

In a note on the news app, Lauren Kern, Apple News Editor-in-Chief wrote, “This election season, our editors will highlight the most important, rigorously reported news to help you understand key races and your fellow voters.” Kern further added that while Apple would not shy away from controversial topics, its aim is to illuminate, not to enrage.

Facebook offers to deploy fact-checking systems for future elections in India

Facebook relied on human editors during the last presidential campaign to curate the popular news topics that were listed in its “Trending” section. However, it replaced its editors with algorithms when it received criticism from conservatives who said that the social network was prioritizing liberal-leaning content.

However, those algorithms did not lessen the censure, and Facebook had to go through a vortex of congressional hearings. The company removed its automated “Trending” feature recently and also restructured the News Feed algorithm to rank news sources on a scale of trust determined by users.

Also, in view of upcoming 2019 election in India, the social networking site has offered to roll out fact checking systems. During an interaction in Seoul, Katie Harbath, Facebook’s Global Manager, assured chief election commissioner O.P. Rawat that the social networking site would run a voluntary fact-check to track fake news and false campaigns circulated through its network.

In addition to this, Facebook announced the creation of new automated “Breaking News” labels and an expansion of its fact-checking operation to encourage quality content and to curb fake news.



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