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False information on social media

Fake news can cause social issues, readers say

Gulf News

With the explosion of information on the internet, can you really trust news shared on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter? Do you check the authenticity of every news post you read?

A majority eight of ten Gulf News poll respondents said fake news can lead to social problems.

During the US elections campaign, US-based digital media company BuzzFeed found that of the 20 fake election stories that were most shared, commented-on and reacted-to on Facebook, 17 were pro-Donald Trump or anti-Hillary Clinton. Some examples of posts found were that Pope Francis had endorsed Trump, or that a protestor was being paid $3,500 (Dh12,856) to disrupt a Trump rally.

Although experts say it’s difficult to determine if false reports circulating on social media helped sway public opinion during the elections, Washington Post interviewed researchers who said some campaigns seemed to be part of a broadly effective strategy of sowing distrust in US democracy and its leaders.

Facebook is now working to get input from journalists and fact-checkers on how to improve its algorithm.

How does fake news on social media impact you?