Facebook Boss, Mark Zuckerberg has challenged himself to better at his job. By extension, this means to effect a fix or policy to bring an end to the spread of fake news and extreme contents on Facebook this year.
Zuckerberg revealed on Thursday that his challenge for 2018 includes preventing Facebook from being misused by users. Very recently, Facebook has been the most used medium for terrorists to spread hate speeches or extreme contents, thereby making it unsafe for the billions of people all over the world. With respect to this, the social media boss has challenged himself to make the forum a safer place for users. He said:
“The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do—whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent. My personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues.”
Facebook, along with Twitter and YouTube have come under serious attacks from the European Union and other bodies since 2016 to address the issue of fake news and the spread of hate speeches on their forums and just recently, Germany recently enforced a law against hate speeches on social media. The Facebook boss admitted to having a series of shortcomings that couldn’t protect the platform from a misuse. “We won’t prevent all mistakes or abuse, but we currently make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools. If we’re successful this year, then we’ll end 2018 on a much better trajectory”.
The last election in the US which saw the rise in the promotion of fake news placed Facebook and Twitter under an intense scrutiny and grilling for doing nothing to stop the spread of fake news and police the activities of the culprits. The social media was such a strong tool to spread information- legitimate or false. Even so, it’s quite alarming that fake news seems to travel faster than what’s real.
It was a similar case in India when seven people were beaten to death on account of a fake news that had gone viral. A vast majority of Indians get their exposure via the mobile phones through WhatsApp which is the most used Instant messaging app. Sadly, a majority of people are unable to differentiate between what is real and what isn’t. With the end to end encryption, there are no means to trail the source, making it difficult for the authorities to track.
The social media and instant messaging apps were created to ease communication and connect people from all over the world; nevertheless, the creators are confronted with the dark sides created by humans. Zuckerberg is devoting the year to work with experts to “discuss and help work through these topics”, he said.
It should be noted that the Facebook team worked extensively to address this particular problem and last month revealed its outstanding success. Not only did it crack down on thousands of fake accounts, It also employed the use of artificial intelligence and manpower to put an end to the spread of hate speeches.