Yesterday Facebook announced that they will no longer accept ads from fake news sources. (O’Malley, 2017)
Seems like the least that they can do since as the New York Times pointed out last week, we are entrusting increasingly large portions of our private and public life to advertising/data-mining companies. (Herrman, 2017)
But from what I have observed, social media is more about content than ads, and the algorithms that social media companies are using favor the popular.
I’m trending on Instagram this week. I’d like to think it’s because people appreciate my photos. But why now? I’ve been posting a pic a day for the past 2 ½ years, and have a small but loyal following. Until this week. This week my followers increased by 30% in three days. And the numbers are still going up.
The same thing happened with this blog last winter, although in that case, my page views increased tenfold over a period of about three months.
So if fake news still appears to be popular, based on likes from fake followers, then it will trend. Therefore companies need to deal with the issue of fake followers and adapt their algorithms if they really intend to combat fake news. It will be interesting to see if they do.
O’Malley, G. (2017, August 29) Facebook Refuses To Carry Ads From Fake News Sources. mediapost.com. Retrieved August 30, 2017, from https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/306494/facebook-refuses-to-carry-ads-from-fake-news-sourc.htmlHerrman, J. (2017, August 21) How Hate Groups Forced Online Platforms to Reveal Their True Nature. nytimes.com. Retrieved August 30, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/21/magazine/how-hate-groups-forced-online-platforms-to-reveal-their-true-nature.html?mcubz=0&_r=0&auth=login-email