Do you believe everything you read on the internet? How many times have you relied on Wikipedia as a legitimate compilation of verified information?
Back in the early ’90’s, when you wanted to consume accurate information on any topic, you would have to either go to the library and research the topic through verified academic sources, or wait to see if the question would perhaps be answered during a game of 7PM Jeopardy on NBC.
Now, with a quick Google search, we have the ability to become quick experts on topics in the matter of seconds. But, is the information we’re consuming really accurate?
This Facebook trending story is 100% made up.
Nothing in it is true.
This post of it alone has 10k shares in the last six hours. pic.twitter.com/UpgNtMo3xZ
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) November 14, 2016
After Google’s search engine highlighted an inaccurate story claiming that President-elect Donald Trump won the popular vote in last week’s election, it left many wondering if fallacious articles may have influenced the presidential election’s outcome.
On Monday, Facebook and Google, two of the world’s biggest internet-based companies, responded to the criticism by affirming that they would not tolerate such deception, by cutting off the fake news sites’ revenue sources. Facebook will ban all fake news sites from its Facebook Audience Network, and Google will ban the fraudulent sources from using it’s AdSense ad-selling software, which will result in a large loss of earnings.
“We have updated the policy to explicitly clarify that this applies to fake news,” a Facebook spokesman said in a statement reports NYTimes. “Our team will continue to closely vet all prospective publishers and monitor existing ones to ensure compliance.”
This may come to a shock to some, as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated in a post on his Facebook page over the weekend, that 99 percent of what people see on the site is authentic, and only a microscopic amount is fake news and hoaxes.
“Identifying the ‘truth’ is complicated,” Zuckerberg wrote. “While some hoaxes can be completely debunked, a greater amount of content, including from mainstream sources, often gets the basic idea right but some details wrong or omitted. Over all, this makes it extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other.” Read the full statement here.
Between the bogus celebrity death hoaxes and photoshopped Donald Trump quotes, we’re sure everybody has stumbled upon a fake article, or two, in their time.
What do you think of Google and Facebook stepping up? One things for sure, as long as there is the internet, there will be people who will believe anything.
How long before people start faking the stories of fake news stories getting shared on Facebook?
— Richard Ensor (@richardjensor) November 15, 2016
Just remember, anyone can Google search a picture, and Photoshop a fake quote on it. It’s up to the people sharing to question it’s authenticity.
Image via Google