Misinformation on social networks

22 April 2021 | By Pamela Ulloa | COMMUNICATION
Social networks played a major role in the history of human beings. 60% of the world's population is currently immersed in the digital world, in 2020 Facebook registered a total of 2,449 million active users, followed by WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, with 1,600 and 1,300 million respectively. 

Now imagine thousands and millions of users sharing information in various formats, at the same time.

Information on social networks moves from one place to another very quickly, news emerges from one place and appears without caution on your screen. 

During the pandemic, for example, we have witnessed all kinds of news about the virus. Social networks have given users the opportunity to express their thoughts on various topics in a simple and immediate way, however, on many occasions the information can be uncertain because it comes from a dubious source. The abundance of data online is another cause of fake news due to the insufficient regulation for publication online. 

Nowadays, we have the great benefit of accessing millions of sources of information in seconds, however, it is difficult to trust the content and that it can provide quality information, when it is in an uncertain and false environment. This phenomenon of misinformation is putting lives at risk, involving the health and safety of the people behind the screens.

How do social media companies act on this? 

Leading media companies are working on the issue, however there is still a long way to go for the eradication of misinformation in digital media, specifically in social networks.

One example is TikTok, which directly and publicly assumes responsibility for countering false and misleading content as a commitment through various actions, the most recent of which is a feature that stops people from sharing a video whose content is unfounded.

The new tool works as follows: a user uploads a video which has been previously reviewed, then a banner appears announcing that the material has not been fully validated and has been categorized as “Unverified Content” and the user will have the option to choose to “Cancel the post” or “Share anyway”.  Viewers decreased the rate of shared videos by 24%, while 'Likes' on such videos dropped by 7%.

Let's collaborate in eradicating fake news to create a digital media of information and advancement.

On the other hand, Facebook since the pandemic has launched more than 50 million warning labels warning of false information or information of dubious provenance and continues to make improvements in content moderation, while Instagram in 2019 planned to display a more visible tag, so that users understand that the information shared is not reliable.

How to detect fake news?

-Verify the sources of information.
-Check account verification.
-Search for the news in another source of information.
-Look for the author in the news.

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By Pamela Ulloa

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