How Can We Fix the Fake News Problem?

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How Can We Fix the Fake News Problem?-10

No easy fix for fake news

In the end, the content that makes up fake news still has some connection to real news or an actual event. Can AI tell the difference between fake news and satire? Or fake news and an op-ed piece? "As much as social media platforms deserve increased scrutiny on how they are controlling the content that their users see on their feeds, the problem of effectively filtering fake news is even harder than it sounds, and there won't be a silver bullet to solve this," said Jeff Finn, CEO at zvelo. "It'll really be by using a combination of page-level categorization, natural language processing, human review and expertise, and AI / machine learning, that platforms such as Facebook and Twitter will be on their way to effectively combat the fake news problem."


"Fake news is in the eye of the beholder; what is promotional or opinionated to one is downright false to another," said Chris Olson, CEO of The Media Trust.

Fake news has been around for a long time, in one form or another, but in 2016, it roared to life as clickbait, made-up articles and phony websites proliferated in social media. It helped shape the presidential election. As NPR reported, for example, Twitter bots spread fake news that was repeatedly retweeted and shared, including by Donald Trump.

Is fake news a security issue? Some say yes, as it is can be used as a social engineering tool to spread disinformation and conceivably to get unsuspecting users to click on malicious links.

"In today's digital economy," Olson said, "consumers demand a malware-free, private and non-intrusive experience. Media publishers and social platforms are addressing these demands by adopting security, data protection and performance standards. What's more important is that they are enforcing these standards with the multitude of upstream partners involved in rendering content and directly affecting the overall user experience."

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google are taking the right steps, Josh Ginsberg, CEO and co-founder with Zignal Labs added. "They’ve offered in-product resources for users to help them and partnered with independent fact-checking organizations to help flag disputed content. But weeding out fake news requires a combination of factors, with data and analytics playing a key role."

What is the state of fake news on social media and what is being done to combat it?


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