Searching for Scoops

As I sit down to write this blog, I am surrounded by stories about the “Apple v. FBI” phenomenon that has been sweeping the internet as of late. I’ve read a good deal about both sides of the argument, capstoned by Tim Cook’s scathing letter. With all of this coverage, I thought “Wouldn’t it be fun to see what Facebook is doing with this?”

That’s what leads me here. I decided I would split the search in two. First, I will be taking a look at the FBI side of the story.

Initially, as noted by Brett, verified newspapers and other publications appear first. As I scrolled WAY down, I was extremely surprised to see dozens of posts from regular folks who maybe had five to 10 likes on a post. Their content wasn’t anythingy you’d expect after scrolling for a couple of minutes. Alternatively, the posts were almost all constructive to the discussion, which really shocked me.

One example of people adding to the debate.

Moving on to the Apple side, naturally, sponsored content appeared at the top….

…and news outlets fell just underneath the ads. I was getting similar results to my “FBI” search, so I decided to mess around with the search tabs a bit. II first went to the photos tab. After scrolling througha couple of pictures ofthe San Bernandino terrorists and apples logo, the results took a sharp turn. Photos of my friends meals they had made began popping up, prompted by the word “apple” in their posts.

I thought it was pretty interesting how the results varied so quickly. So when got thinking about Graph Search as a tool for reporters, I was puzzled. Facebook set out to make the search feature more intuitive, and in turn, it was said it would help journalists find people, stories and other information.

While the search bar does come in very handy, I believe that the results can become altered by paid content (like the Apple ads), and other factors. While it is a good tool, you also must remember that most content on Facebook is unverified or provided without credentials, so it is important to remain vigilant and fact-check and get another source of confirmation before using any information uncovered through Facebook.

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