Fake news on Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

IT has been reported that a group of Facebook employees have come together to create an unofficial taskforce dedicated to tackling the issue of fake news on the website. The issue came to light after the recent US presidential election, where fake stories were allegedly used to influence voters on social media and to gain income from advertising revenue.

Some stories were so outrageous that they were guaranteed ‘click bait’ for susceptible users. The stories took advantage of confirmation bias, a psychological trait that makes humans more likely to accept information that confirms something that they already believe or suspect. The most extreme cases were republicans sharing fake viral articles about Hillary Clinton murdering people. 

The social media giant is currently being bombarded with claims that these articles heavily influenced the election, helping to swing it towards the republican candidate Donald Trump.

Owner Mark Zuckerberg has dismissed the claims, saying this weekend that 99 per cent of all content on the website is authentic. Many have interpreted this statement as confirmation of the contrary, as according to Zuckerberg 1 per cent of all content isn’t authentic.

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