Trump supporters were more likely to believe fake news than Clinton voters.
Mark Zuckerberg via Twitter
In the wake of the 2016 election, a disturbing fact came out of social media. From August 2016 to election day, the top 20 fake election stories outperformed the top 20 election stories from the mainstream news by almost 1.5 million engagements. According to Ipsos Public Affairs, Donald Trump supporters were much more likely to rate fake news headlines as accurate than Clinton voters. So after previously shrugging off the fake news epidemic, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has decided to step up and do something about it.
To fight the spread of bogus headlines, Facebook has teamed up with media outlets including Snopes, Factcheck.org, Politifact, and ABC News which are part of Poynter, an international fact-checking network. After Facebook’s site update takes effect, when a news story is deemed fake by Poynter, the post will be labeled as “Disputed by 3rd party fact-checkers” in Facebook’s News Feed. “We’ve focused our efforts on the worst of the worst, on the clear hoaxes spread by spammers for their own gain, and on engaging both our community and third party organizations,” Facebook News Feed chief Adam Mosseri said in a statement.
Facebook has also stopped allowing fake news organizations or spoof sites to sell ads on the social network. In the past, Facebook has repeatedly said it’s not a media company and that it’s up to its members and media outlets to publish factual information. But seeing the disastrous effect that fake news can have on democracy, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has changed his tune. “Facebook is a new kind of platform different from anything before it,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. “I think of Facebook as a technology company, but I recognize we have a greater responsibility than just building technology that information flows through.”