The story continues. This from today’s Guardian:
The scrutiny over Facebook’s treatment of editorial content has been intensifying for months, reflecting the site’s unrivaled power and influence in distributing news alongside everything else its users share on the site.
Fake or misleading news spreads like wildfire on Facebook because of confirmation bias, a quirk in human psychology that makes us more likely to accept information that conforms to our existing world views. The conspiracy theories are also amplified by a network of highly partisan media outlets with questionable editorial policies, including a website called the Denver Guardian peddling stories about Clinton murdering people and a cluster of pro-Trump sites founded by teenagers in Veles, Macedonia, motivated only by the advertising dollars they can accrue if enough people click on their links.
The Pew Research Center found that 62% of Americans get all or some of their news from social media, of which Facebook accounts for the lion’s share. Yet an analysis by BuzzFeed found that 38% of posts shared on Facebook by three rightwing politics sites included “false or misleading information”, while three large leftwing pages did so 19% of the time.
LATER This from Buzzfeed:
“If someone is right-wing, and all their friends are right-wing, and that is the news they share on Facebook, then that is the bubble they have created for themselves and that is their right,” said the longtime Facebook engineer. “But to highlight fake news articles in the [news] feed, to promote them so they get millions of shares by people who think they are real, that’s not something we should allow to happen. Facebook is getting played by people using us to spread their bullshit.”
Spot on. That’s the key to it.