Over the weekend, the man behind Facebook made a big announcement. Mark Zuckerberg stated that his company is going to do whatever it takes to put an end to fake news stories running wild on the social media giant.
We all know the issue here. Too frequently a story comes up on our news feed that has been shared 41,419 times and carries with it a questionable headline: Facebook to start charging access fee or Cam Newton hands football to kid despite $50,000 fine or Don’t go to the polls, just vote via text message.
Many times these stories gain steam and trick our Facebook obsessed friends and family. In fact, sometimes these fake posts pull such a fast one on us that not only do we believe them, we actually follow what they tell us to do!
How many of us have seen poor souls actually copy and paste a status update to “protect” against Facebook accessing and selling their most personal information?
Yes, I am elated that Facebook is doing something to put a road block right in the middle of the high speed fake story freeway where these links/updates spread to millions of users. The bogus articles are garbage. They clutter up timelines and put a damper on the Facebook experience. This social media litter is very prevalent.
Zuckerberg and his team will huddle together and create some type of detection software that will test each piece of Facebook content for authenticity. The trash will be incinerated before it ever sees a second of a news feed. This will be a very anticipated feature.
But let’s hold up one second and hold ourselves accountable. Fake Facebook stories are easier to spot than an elephant in a tent. We are smart enough to know that Tupac didn’t appear at a music festival and we have enough intelligence to know that Hillary Clinton is not going to contest her presidential election loss. I firmly believe that if we just take one second to question the legitimacy of a story (look at the source, look at the author, look at the URL) we would never even click on it, let alone share it to our very own coveted social media real estate.
I am glad that Facebook is going to start protecting against scams just from the standpoint that our news feeds will be cleaned up. However, I don’t think we should have to rely on Zuckerberg for help deciphering something that our common sense alone should already tell us. Don’t Blink.