Critics have blamed the social networking giant Facebook for influencing the US-elections in favour of President-elect Donald Trump by circulating a “host of fake news stories about political topics,” a media report said on Friday.
According to The Huffington Post, hoaxes and misinformation were still showing up frequently in Facebook’s “Trending Topics” section and that fake news was also a problem in the main News Feed.
Joshua Benton, head of the Nieman Journalism Lab, blamed facebook for the rise of Trump.
“There’s plenty of blame to go around but the list of actors has to start with Facebook. And for all its wonders-reaching nearly 2 billion people each month, driving more traffic and attention to news than anything else on earth-it’s also become a single point of failure for civic information,” Benton was quoted as saying in a Fortune report.
“Facebook says it is doing its best to stamp such stories out, but even some former Facebook staffers aren’t sure it is trying hard enough,” the report said.
One of the critics of Facebook, Max Read, wrote in the New York Magazine that throughout the election fake stories, sometimes papered over with flimsy “parody site” disclosures somewhere in small type, circulated throughout Facebook.
Max pointed out fake stories like ‘The Pope endorses Trump,’ ‘Hillary Clinton bought $137 million in illegal arms’ and ‘The Clintons bought a $200 million house in the Maldive,’ which got hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of shares, likes and comments.
Sociologist Zeynep Tufekci said in Fortune that 2016 was a close election where filter bubbles & algorithmic funneling was weaponized for spreading misinformation.
European regulators like German chancellor Angela Merkel want Facebook to open up its algorithmic black box while others call on facebook to shut down the news feed.