For the past month, Facebook has been caught amid the hullaballo of being involved in the propogation of misleading content. People have been accusing the platform for surfacing and being crowded with fake news, which led to the unexpected outcome of the U.S presidential election. The social media behemoth had since accepted its responsibilty and detailed a comprehensive action plan to crack down on such sources. And it seems to have already taken the first step in the right direction.
According to numerous reports on the interwebs, Facebook has started displaying survey forms underneath news stories. These surveys extend a helping to the community on the platform to help them identify misleading headlines and weed out fake content on the platform. It hands over the baton for flagging fake news stories to the users.
— Chris Krewson (@ckrewson) December 5, 2016
This survey, which has been noticed and posted by some users over at Twitter, questions the community about the headline of the content in question. It asks whether the said link’s title “uses misleading language” or “withholds key details of the story.” The users have a variety of choices to address the question, with response options varying from “Not at all” to “Very much” and “Completely.” The choice of completely ignoring the said survey and moving on with your life is also an acceptable option.
A Facebook survey to see how accurate a Rolling Stone headline is. Pizzagate shows that information on social media fucking matters. pic.twitter.com/i4PIsbFhYF
— Jorge (@iamjorgecamargo) December 5, 2016
Though Facebook has confirmed to TechCrunch that the said survey are an official effort but it has chosen not to dispense any further info regarding the release of the same. There is still uncertainity over the fact if the surveys are being used to weed out misleading stories or crack down on clickbait stories on the platform. It could be either becuase it serves a purpose for both.
Recently, Facebook also updated its News Feed algorithms to better understand and crack down on clickbait posts — which use enticing and catchy titles to lure you in clicking a link to something unfamiliar and completely unrelated to the headline. The company could be using the said surveys to make the algorithms learn and adapt to better understand what is true and what isn’t.
This, however, could easily be focused on the massive problem of fake news — which the company has accepted responsibility for. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has twice vented out his exasperation towards users linking his platform with the propagation of misleading and fake content on the interwebs.