Interacting with misinformation on Facebook is greater than real news
Interacting with misinformation on Facebook is greater than real news

According to the Washington Post, a new study shows that the sharing of fake news on the Facebook platform is six times higher than that of real news.

This new research could support critics' argument that the company's algorithms encourage the spread of misinformation at the expense of reliable sources.

The study examined the Facebook page posts of more than 2,500 news publishers between August 2020 and January 2021.

News publishers, known for their misinformation, received six times as many likes, shares, and interactions from trusted news sources across the platform.

This increase in participation is evident in the political arena. However, the study found that right-wing editors were more likely to spread false information than editors from other political groups, according to The Washington Post.

The researchers will share this research at the Internet Measurement Conference in November 2021. But researcher Laura Edelson (Laura Edelson) said it could be released soon.

In response, the company said the report measures the number of people who interact with the content. But that doesn't measure how many people see it.

"This report examines how people interact with content and should not be confused with the number of people who view content on Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson said. If you look at the content that has the greatest impact on the platform as a whole, it differs from the results of this study.

The company has 80 fact-checking partners covering more than 60 languages ​​and strives to categorize and reduce misinformation.

Facebook does not provide researchers with access data. Instead, researchers who want to understand and quantify the problem of misinformation on social media platforms are turning to a tool called CrowdTangle, which is owned by Facebook.

But in August, the company blocked this research group's access to the data. In addition to the platform-wide political ads library.

Interacting with misinformation on Facebook is greater than real news

The company said it could violate a settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal if third-party researchers are still allowed access to the data.

The group rarely responded that the settlement agreement excluded researchers, and Facebook should not use this as an excuse to deny the public the ability to understand people's behavior on social media.

Kevin Rose, a technology columnist for the New York Times, used CrowdTangle to compile a regular list of the most engaged posts on the platform.

This allegedly angered the company's executives. In fact, these lists are often dominated by the right, spreading a lot of misinformation.

In response to allegations that misinformation was a platform-wide problem, the company released a transparency report in August. This shows the most viewed posts on the platform in the second quarter of this year.

The New York Times announced days later that the company had canceled plans to publish its first quarterly report.

It happened because the most viewed post was an article that wrongly linked the coronavirus vaccine to the death of a Florida doctor. Several right-wing websites have used this article to raise doubts about the vaccine's effectiveness.

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