We’re all victims of fake news

It’s easy to try and deny when you think you’re above the frivolous noise and tittle tattle of Facebook news posts that appear in your feed. Even the most fact-conscious among us and the most level-headed, we have all been swayed by what Facebook chooses to show us.

Because yes, I was shocked by the outcome of Brexit. And yes, I was in disbelief when Donald Trump won the US election. Why? Because nothing in my online sphere led me to believe otherwise. And if you’re reading this, via my Facebook feed or on my Twitter or by any other way we’re connected on social media, you’ll most likely have experienced the same feelings.

And this worried me. Because up until now I thought I had a fairly solid world view, I thought I knew what was what because I read widely and kept up with the news. But all it went to show was that I lived in a bubble, mostly of my own making.

So I have decided to do as much as I can to try and re-balance the scales, call it a an end-of-year resolution rather than a new year’s one.

I’m not quite sure how yet, but firstly I’m going to become a more conscientious social media user. I’m going to be more thorough in checking sources and read other news outlets I might not otherwise.

It is also Facebook’s prerogative to practice responsible algorithms , but it might be a while before we really notice a difference.

Anyway, here are the links I have enjoyed reading around this subject:

This from the Guardian about living in different realities, and what it’s like to swap feeds with someone who has a different political outlook to you: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/16/facebook-bias-bubble-us-election-conservative-liberal-news-feed#

We need more of this! The Washington Post covers the students who came up with a way to label varified and non-varified news sources https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2016/11/18/fake-news-on-facebook-is-a-real-problem-these-college-students-came-up-with-a-fix/

And this from Quartz, on what Facebook (and Google) are actually doing to combat the problem http://qz.com/837474/facebook-fb-is-banning-fake-news-publishers-from-its-ad-network/

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