Facebook and other social media companies have made strides since the 2016 election in screening for and eliminating misinformation. But the recent election cycle exposed how fragile the social media platforms remain. For Facebook, it takes an ad hoc “war room” with dozens of staff members working round-the-clock shifts. It takes hordes of journalists and fact checkers willing to police the platform for false news stories and hoaxes so that they can be contained before spreading to millions. It takes constant vigilance from law enforcement agencies, academic researchers and digital security experts for months on end.
Facebook was generally responsive to these problems after they were publicly called out. But the platform’s scale means that even people who work there are often in the dark.
A recent study by the Oxford Internet Institute, a department at the University of Oxford, found that 25 percent of all election-related content shared on Facebook and Twitter during the midterm election season could be classified as “junk news.”Read More