Facebook announced last week its latest strategy in the fight against so-called fake news: allowing its users to review and rate news sources.
Facebook will soon begin surveying its users to ask if they are familiar with the news sources they read on Facebook, and if they find those news sources credible.
Using this information, Facebook will show users more news sources “that are determined to be trusted by the community,” according to a post from Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “We decided that having the community determine which sources are broadly trusted would be most objective.”
It’s a solution that researchers at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business found to be ineffective, as they outlined in an editorial published by BuzzFeed News this week.
Late last December, Kelley professors Alan Dennis and Antino Kim and doctoral student Patricia Moravec published the first of several research papers on the topic of fake news that they have been working on since the start of 2017.
By the end of the 2016 election cycle and beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency in 2017, “fake news” was a household phrase. The researchers wanted to know if the effects of fake news, defined in the research paper as “news articles that are intentionally and verifiably false and could mislead readers,” could be limited through different ratings systems.
After all, Kim said, fake news has always circulated, from gossip rags to headlines proclaiming sightings of the Loch Ness monster.
“What is so special about fake news on social media that suddenly people are blaming it?” Kim said.