You might have seen this article on your Facebook feedback in September… a headline blaring “Pope Francis Shocks World – Endorses Donald Trump for President.”
You might have even shared the article… or just clicked “like” or “wow” or made a comment.
The problem is… the story was false… joining the ranks of other fake, highly-shared or liked articles.
“WikiLeaks CONFIRMS Hillary Sold Weapons to ISIS.” Or… “Hillary is Disqualified From Holding Any Federal Office.”
Buzzfeed News says during the last three months of the Presidential campaign of the top 20 FAKE election-related articles on Facebook… all but three were all anti-Clinton or pro-Trump.
And Facebook users “engaged” with them with a “share,” a “like” or a comment… more than 8.7-million times.
But they engaged with the top 20 election-related stories from legitimate news outlets… both pro-and-con for each candidate… fewer than 7.4 million times.
According to Pew Research, 66% of Facebook users get news from the site. But at a tech conference last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg dismissed the issue.
“I think the idea that fake news on Facebook influenced the election in any way, I think is a pretty crazy idea,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg.
But a few days later in a post, he acknowledged Facebook has begun to look into ways for the online community to flag hoaxes and fake news.
Experts say it’s difficult to filter out fake news in real time. But facebook and google have each announced new plans to prevent fake stories from spreading by restricting advertising with websites that spread fake content.