It’s now eight days after the US presidential elections and it looks like the idea that fake news stories on Facebook may have swayed the election in Donald Trump’s favour is gathering steam. After senior executives at the social media giant raised concerns, it looks as if junior staff are now officially trying their best to kill fake stories on the website. To this end, there is now a Chrome extension that’s going to step in in the meantime to try and help you identify fake stories on Facebook.
Daniel Sieradski who created the extension is obviously pissed at Mark Zuckerberg’s response to allegations that Facebook did little to curtail the flow of fake news stories which may have swayed the election in one direction. Making some even more angry is the claim that Facebook actually thought about doing something like this but backed after it had promised back in August to curtail the free flow of such news on its site.
The creator of the extension added that he had “compiled a list of domains that are well-known sources of fake news, conspiracy theory, innuendo, and unsourced claims. The domains cover the political spectrum from left to right and I have done my absolute best to be impartial in my selections.” As you can see in the images attached, the idea doesn’t necessarily have to border around politics.
I can imagine that many who are angry at the way the election turned out in the US would eventually find such a tool useful in future. Right now it’s not clear if there are similar ideas for other web browsers too but seeing as Chrome is the dominant web browser in the world, this could be a great start.
Facebook on the other had has promised to ban sites that report fake news from buying ads which is something Google has been doing before now. Together Google and Facebook control nearly 45 percent of the total digital ads space and they owe it to the public to promote only genuine information.
Twitter today also suspended the accounts of some users it has identified as “alt-right” members in the US who have at some point been associated with some form of racism among others. The micro blogging company was forced to shut down the account of one of them who racially abused comedienne Leslie Jones on Twitter only after she threatened to quit the site.