Given the state of Facebook starting from 2016 until now it’s clear there’s an issue with proper dissemination of fact from fiction.
Users are pushed news an algorithm determines they’re more likely to click on.
“Our innate biases allow [skepticism] to be bypassed, researchers have found — especially when presented with the right kind of algorithmically selected ‘meme,'” according to a 2017 New York times article.
But this method of news delivery has no consideration of whether the news being pushed is true. Obviously, this has led to serious consequences.
Most importantly, it has created a misinformed public who live in their own “bubbles” with a different perception of the world from reality.
Personally, I avoid this simply by avoiding Facebook. But it seems this isn’t as easy for other people:
I guess quitting Twitter is the new quitting Facebook. I did that once. Now age has made me moderate. Recede from Twitter. Like a hairline.
— Sean Michael Morris (@slamteacher) October 6, 2016
Since this isn’t a viable method for most people as Facebook is an immensely important public forum I would advise people to start checking into their media sources. There’s more media than ever before and a lot of it isn’t very reputable.
And for Facebook, that’s not a concern:
1. Facebook finally took down four InfoWars pages today but NOT for posting fake news.
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) August 6, 2018
This isn’t to say start-up/underground media can’t be a good news source. Places like Politico had to get their start somewhere. But it’s important to examine whether your sources are behaving professionally or like some person on their computer regurgitating what they find online.
Language is also incredibly important. Are they adding speculations to the facts? Is the report laced with adjectives instead of being rife with nouns? Does it seem like the author has a bias? All of these can point to faulty reporting.
But most important of all is just being aware that not everything you see online is fact.