The internet’s current contribution to to our political state is unusual and troubling. Across its sprawling landscape of information, misinformation, has stolen the spotlight. What has been deemed fake news, has crawled out from under the shadow of credibility and found a space on the social media feeds of our friends and those at the highest levels of government. Google and Facebook, in particular, have begun to take action against the spread of fake news stories, but still it seeps through.
The Rise of Fake News
The internet has reshaped the consumption of news. Digital news continues to negatively impact the success that print has enjoyed for decades. This reform unexpectedly profitized misinformation. An increasing number of social media users were drawn and convinced of fake news stories through their use of clickbait headlines and confirmation bias content. The high traffic that these stories began to experience, drew the attention of advertisers and begun influencing the political views of the nation.
Companies like Google and Facebook have been working to combat the fake news they inadvertently provide. Facebook has begun to flag news that lacks credibility and sources. Facebook attaches a banner to any story the social media outlet deems inaccurate. If the story is indeed fake following a review; Facebook prohibits it from being turned into an ad. Facebook will also remind the user that the story is fake if they decide to share it. Google also flags fake news stories but inaccuracies seem to leak through. This past weekend BBC reported that Google Home answers some questions with information from fake news sites.
There are certainly still issues concerning the monitoring of fake news. Though, it is reassuring to see large companies take a stand against inaccurate news. While removing their source of revenue seems to be the solution companies like Google and Facebook are utilizing, the issue remains with the attitude with which many approach undisputed fact and credible sources.