After all the uproar during and post Election cycle over fake news and bias in the Facebook News Feeds, months on the problem has seen very little improvement.
Sure the problem has “improved” when it comes to the actual news stories but the following happens in more than 90% of occasions.
The Link Title
Rather than be an accurate link title Facebook will use something that makes someone click on the link for example a story about Barack Obama may very well be titled “Donald Trump” when the story is all about Barack Obama going off somewhere to write his memoirs and the story doesn’t even mention Donald Trump.
Over the space of a month of observing this occurred in 75% of occasions where the link title had nothing to do with the base article.
The Commentary posts
Amazingling you may have to scroll quite a way down to get a comment that has anything to do with the story and isn’t a piece of propaganda. For example today there was a news story about Donald Trump offering his condolence to Vladimir Putin over the St. Petersburg subway bombing.
There was over 35 ‘commentary’ posts listed that were identical and appeared to be propaganda by a liberal group and yet they were given priority over people’s real comments that were honest statements showing concern and feelings of sorrow for the people of Russia affected by a Terrorist act.
Reporting of Issues
If you choose to report one of the commentaries it treats the base story as the false news when the commentary is the false news or propaganda which, because it is in the news feed and in some cases where it is ‘paid for posting’ or ‘group posting’ of the same statements in the commentary posts has the same effect as an actual website that is posting “Fake News”.
The whole issue with Fake News was that it was allegedly the posting of Propaganda in websites that deliberately led to confusing facts and fiction and these comments that Facebook are allowing are doing exactly that, they are utilising their “commenting through sharing of news stories” by adding their propagandising statements to the shared article to get it in the news feed successfully and carry out exactly the same act and these commentary posts done through sharing of the articles are not including the fact checking even if you report them because it is the original story that is fact checked and most times it is a factual story.
As pointed out above, fact checking is only carried out on the base story while the commentary on the ‘share’ of the story by persons or groups may have very little to do with the news story and may very well be factually incorrect or out right political propaganda is ignored.
So yes, Facebook have failed to address their Fake News problem
What Facebook have done is simply open up the trending news section towards those within Facebook biasing the narrative of the news feed by taking links to the stories and then posting their propagandised comment above it in the share they made.
Facebook has put their head in the sand, they use a system that does not address the issue and they don’t take action against repeat offenders that continually post or groups that are mass sharing with identical commentary statements above their share of the same article which implies that it was done by a group, paid or not, to give a biased narrative which drowns out the genuine and more accurate shares of the news story that are not biased and pertain to the story that was shared.
Well done Facebook, you really failed to fix your mess, or is it because those posting the propaganda meet the rather liberal leanings of the founder!