Facebook flagging in efforts to curb fake news

As the 2020 elections near, phony news stories have multiplied on Facebook with 62 percent of the stories going against liberals or Democrats and 29 percent against Republicans or conservatives. Avaaz, a group that tracks misinformation, announced these findings last week. (The Hill, November 6, 2019, by Marty Johnson)

A report out of Oxford University in September revealed that Facebook was the preferred forum for governments and political parties bent on distributing fake news. The report said the intent was “to discredit political opponents, drown out opposing views, or undermine trust in the liberal international order.” The burgeoning of fake news on Facebook is occurring in spite of the company’s attempts to establish rules and accountability for misuse of its platform. (Business Insider, September 27, 2019, by Mary Hanbury)

Pen American published a report last March on elections and the effect of fraudulent news, addressing the responsibilities of social media companies including Facebook and making recommendations addressed to government, news media, social media, political parties and news consumers.

For earlier FAC coverage on the issue, click here, here and here.