Did Pope Francis endorse Donald Trump? Did Hillary Clinton sell weapons to Isis? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you may have been the victim of fake news. In the first episode of a new podcast from Interhacktives – Data Day – Ella Wilks-Harper and Luke Barratt discuss the rise of fake news, question whether the crisis has been overstated, and examine some possible solutions to the problem.
Fake news on Facebook has been the subject of a frenzied debate recently, especially around a US election that has seen a country divided bitterly. As Americans – and Brits – retreat into online echo chambers of their own making, filling their Facebook feeds with people who agree with them, is it any wonder that ideology might start to trump fact? Some consider fake news the logical conclusion of the filter bubble. Will it be a wake-up call for Facebook to recognise editorial responsibility and abandon the utopian dream of its impersonal, all-ruling algorithm?
Mark Zuckerburg’s initial response to the fake news scandal:
Buzzfeed’s story about Macedonian teenagers using fake news to garner ad revenue:
A letter from the editor of Aftenposten attacking Zuckerburg over the censoring of a picture from the Vietnam War:
Buzzfeed’s analysis of engagement with fake news on Facebook in the last few months before the US election: