Fake News And The Fight For Quality On Social Media

The influence of fake news on social media and online searches has been a controversial topic since gaining the world’s attention last year. In November of 2016, Google and Facebook began facing mounting criticism with accusations that fake news had influenced the outcome of the presidential election. The controversy comes as a byproduct of a battle long fought to improve the quality of search results for users. The two companies continue to find new and innovative ways to combat fake news and mitigate the damage it does to the ecosystem of online marketing. 

Working Together to Spot Fake News

During the initial outcry last fall, Facebook responded by updating the language in its Facebook Audience Network policy, which already said it does not allow misleading content, to specify fake news sites. “We have updated the policy to explicitly clarify that this applies to fake news,” said a Facebook spokesman in a statement. “Our team will continue to closely vet all prospective publishers and monitor existing ones to ensure compliance.” Since then steps have been taken by both companies to team up with the Internet community to spot, report, and remove fake news from social media sites.

This means better education among users on how to spot fake news and more efficient ways to flag and remove problem articles. This past May Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that they will be bringing back tactics formerly used against click bait articles. The strategy uses community input based algorithms to identify and catalog false content. Users have a button positioned next to each article that can be clicked to flag it for further evaluation.

Facebook is also making it easier for users to evaluate the credibility of articles. They’ll soon be rolling out a program that automatically suggests similar articles to users in a box beneath the article, making it easier to compare and contrast information for accuracy. The program will be used in France’s 2017 presidential campaign.

Online Marketing and Social Media

The motivation to post fake news on social media and other outlets, according to industry experts, is purely financial. Young entrepreneurs are seizing the opportunity to fight for the eyes of readers. With no moral obligations to get in the way, the competition for AdSense revenue becomes even easier. Extravagant stories, even when made from thin air, attract attention and sell ad space. For them, the American dream is as accessible as ever. Making money is as easy as writing fake news stories, no research necessary, and posting them on social media sites, with no real risk to themselves.

Streamlined Search Results

Google is taking steps to improve search results by improving how they screen for and identify fake news. Taking a similar approach to Facebook, Google’s Share the Facts boxes allow users to easily evaluate an article’s credibility. Google also just launched their Fact Check tag, which brings attention to articles that have been verified by third parties. The company is changing its search ranking to “help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content,” a Google executive said in a blog post. People will also be able to report misleading, inaccurate, and violent content displayed in its autocomplete function, which anticipates what the user wants base off of the first words typed.

The ultimate fate of fake news lies with the intelligence of the consumer. As long as producers of fake content continue to write articles that outsmart the algorithms that search for them, ad revenue will be made and more fake news will be written. With improved algorithms and the cooperation of readers reporting fake articles, the revenue made through online marketing can be cut off. As their American dream ends, the consumers’ American dream for quality, credible content lives on.

1 Source Media Group’s Commitment To Quality

1 Source Media Group, a comprehensive digital marketing agency based out of Las Vegas, Nevada is committed to providing quality, trustworthy content for clients. Our team will closely monitor the content that is posted and shared on your social media accounts as well as ensure that any content resulting in an online search will be reliable and honest. 1 Source Media Group is dedicated to providing complete Internet marketing campaigns with integrity and honesty in order to truly gain the loyal trust of your valued customers.