Reports indicate that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is undertaking tests on a tool that would be used in identifying and weeding out fake news. The Facebook latest patent to tackle fake news comes in the wake of criticisms the social media giant has received over the spreading of propaganda and untruths on its network.
Facebook latest patent to tackle fake news tested on social media
The tool which so far is requiring readers’ input, asks users to rate on a level of 1 to 5 the extent to which they consider the title of a link of using misleading language. In the particular survey, the articles which were being ranked were from reputable sources: Philadelphia Inquirer, Chortle, and Rolling Stone.
“Spotted this survey at the bottom of a Facebook post earlier. Must be part of a crackdown on clickbait. Interesting,” one participant in the survey tweeted.
However, no information was available regarding how the social media giant will make use of the data that it is gathering. But link titles that are misleading have been identified as a big problem in the dissemination of fake news because in most cases it is the first thing that readers see. This means that in the Facebook latest patent to tackle fake news, identifying and flagging such link titles will be crucial if the battle is to be won.
Click bait and misleading titles
Misleading link titles are an especially big problem for Facebook because of how the site’s interface is. It encourages users to stay on the site and consequently de-emphasises links that are pointing externally. Instead, the social media giant encourages users to share, comment or like on Facebook itself. This has led to a situation where close to 60 percent of social media shares originate from users who did not follow the link with the implication being that the link titles could drive discussion and encourage sharing in a bigger way than the article’s content. How to zero in on misleading headlines is, therefore, likely a top priority of the Facebook latest patent to tackle fake news.
Facebook Inc rose by 0.55% on Wednesday to close at $117.95 a share.
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