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Fake news spreads on Facebook six times faster than real news

Two foreign universities have investigated hundreds of content-sharing sites that often post on Facebook. According to their research, half-truths and deceptive posts are not difficult to stand out among real and credible information, thus giving a better chance of spreading more dangerous posts. Facebook says there’s nothing to worry about.

It is clear from credible test results that the spread of fake news on social media is not at all harmless: in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of people were confirmed to have died because they believed the half-information on Facebook, among other things. If not specified for this reason, but because of the subject’s weight, two higher education institutions, the University of New York and the University of Grenoble-Alpes in France, began research.

According to the results verified by external experts, a post that is definitely distributed for deception can generate six times as much attention (comment, reaction) on Facebook as a real news story. The researchers reviewed 2,500 news-sharing sites on Facebook between August last year and January this year to do this. The results also showed that right-wing content producers were much more likely to share such posts, The Washington Post reported.

The research didn’t get Facebook’s attention, but it didn’t excite them much. They warned that the study did not find things in reach and that this is the real focus. This shows exactly how many people see content in News Feed. However, the study found only so much evidence that people responded to entries full of false information, at least during the research period, for example, by commenting on or liked the post.

However, Facebook is not involved in making access data available to third-party actors (say, researchers). According to the Washington Post, these could have been estimated using a device called CrowdTangle, but this is no longer possible today. The reason for this phenomenon is that Facebook owns the program. Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it has imposed several restrictions on third-party software, restricting the use of CrowdTangle. Facebook is also keen to point out the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules against them, saying that their hands are tied and that the laws must be followed. However, the US body does not see the situation as dramatic, and the company argues that it does not fully cover reality.

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