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Regarding the statistics of 2014, 2.2 billion people use Facebook daily. It is also known that at least 10% of them exploit the network as the major news database. However, few users show concerns about the credibility of the acquired information. One can only wonder how many people are subject to the negative influence of fake news. There is a hypothesis that through the use of false information the current President Donald Trump has managed to take his post in the White House. With regards to this matter, Horgan (2017) expressed the following opinion: “whether ‘fake news’ really did swing the election toward Donald Trump – or simply away from Hillary Clinton – has yet to be conclusively determined “ (para. 8). Therefore, the need to distinguish credible sources of information from deceivers makes Facebook a responsible authority in the matters of news delivery.
Groups of Users that Focus on News
Eventually, youth represents a category of Facebook users that are most likely to believe in information authenticity. Due to the inability to make reasonable judgments and think critically, young people consume all the news they find on the network and start sharing it with friends, who often follow their example. In the case with youth, it is of huge importance for the service to double-check the uploaded information since public opinion is usually formed of the knowledge people receive. The resource should do everything possible to “raise awareness about how to think about information critically online” (Horgan, 2017, para. 3). Youths are the future of the nation and, thus, their minds need substantial protection from all forms of deception.
Another issue with Facebook is that some adults may not have time to search through news applications and pick the most credible ones. They, therefore, visit Facebook, for it appears to be the fastest way of information retrieval. Of course, an opportunity to read the latest news by simply clicking a preferred group or community creates plenty of conveniences. However, few users find time to compare data to other resources to be sure that the information they read is official and trustworthy. The wide popularity of Facebook acts as one of its major disadvantages in this case since everyone with vile intentions can spread the word fast and easily using the network. Establishing close cooperation with MediaSmarts is viewed as a good start, but to close the gap, the company needs to partner with a wider range of media literacy organizations (Horgan, 2017).
Lack of Knowledge and Ways to Protect Unaware Users
The need to combat fake news breakers has been discussed by Facebook’s management for a while now. For plenty of users, Facebook remains a preferred source of information regardless of the fact it is subject to a regular fraudster activity. This occurrence is tightly correlated with people’s inability to find a service that is trusted and posts only official information. The need to protect unaware users from false propaganda has forced Facebook to take responding to measures. As an attempt to “rewire the way people spread and consume information,” the company has decided to make the defense reinforcement (Horgan, 2017, para. 15). Thus, if a page is found to be sharing fake stories on a repeated basis, it becomes blocked. The moderators’ team closely monitors for such occurrences.
Blocking false advertisements is, without a doubt, a step forward in fighting the issue. However, the company should not stop at current achievements since fraudsters usually tend to create multiple accounts and continue their activity using an alternative route. The use of warning messages and the enumeration of scammers that have been recently detected would be much to the point in this situation. This kind of measure would disperse opponents’ opinions regarding Facebook’s right to decide which source is credible and which is not, for they would receive direct evidence of an increasing fraudster activity. It is known that the service “began testing a flagging system that alerts users to content that might be misinformation” (Horgan, 2017, para. 23). This means that the company’s thoughts coincide with those of users in the matters of online safety.
Refutation of Opponents’ Opinion
As Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO specialist, once admitted, an in-depth content of fake stories that people read on a whole variety of pages makes them believe that the information is true and, therefore, needs to be shared immediately (Horgan, 2017). The cunning approach fraudsters take to news representation often forces naïve people to stand for abolishing Facebook’s right to ban content. As a refutation of the arguments of those individuals, one can state that a company of that size is obliged to pay close attention to all the activities occupying its traffic. Undoubtedly, the number of program supporters would rise significantly should the company engage some known public figures in their anti-deception campaign.
Fake News and the Sphere of Entertainment
The best way to make one believe the given information is to refer to the sphere that interests him/her most. Users acquire news from a whole variety of sources without bothering what these sources are. It makes particular sense when speaking of the sphere of entertainment. Should one see a picture of a favorite actor, movie, or a game character, a person is about to believe anything that is said in the news. Thus, a fair conclusion arises: people always choose to believe what they want. Naturally, this fact creates additional challenges for online companies to effectively combat fake news.
The problem of fighting fake news has been discussed by Facebook management staff for quite a while. The need to protect unaware users from deceivers’ influence has forced the company to implement strict safety measures. Thus, every page that is suspected of spreading false information becomes blocked, and users receive notification about the fraud activity. Because an adopted policy has proven to be effective in the matters of fake news combating it is suggested that Facebook remains the authority to decide the information authenticity.
Horgan, C. (2017). The problem with Facebook’s plan to teach you how to read news. Web.