Sniffing Out Fake News On Facebook

facebook hoax button

Some people do not care if a weird story is true or not. They just want to be entertained for a few seconds. Facebook is notorious for these type of headlines. And that is what most people read, the headline only. They don’t bother to read further into a story to see the details that may actually make them realize how foolish it is to begin with. Facebook is adding an option to controls these idiotic stories by allowing users to flag headlines as hoaxes.

This a good idea as surely it will help to some degree. Even though there is some chance that users will just flag anything they disagree with as a hoax. I can see political stories getting marked as lies just because of a left or right wing bias. People without the time or inclination to check out a few facts before believing a headline are not going to hesitate to simply click a button to mark it a hoax if they do not like it.

I love a good funny or weird story. But I do care if it is a real one or not. I know many people simply don’t care as long as it makes them laugh or sounds amazing for them to repeat out loud. I think the main reason they don’t care is that they just move on to the next thing so quickly in their Facebook feed. “Man feeds cat to shark” sound wacky but three seconds later the Facebook addict is reading “I win a new kidney of I get 800,000 likes.” Short attention spans are not the best for spreading and knowing the truth.

I barely look at my Facebook page anymore. Too much drama, too many mundane posts about lunch choices, and of course the fake headlines have turned me off to the platform. It is hard to find truthful news anywhere you turn now. Everyone is too busy to hunt down facts, unless you are a reporter and are getting paid to do so. Facebook is certainly not the best news source on the web and I have lost a lot of faith in people around me by what I hear them repeat from that website. Hopefully this new feature to weed out the hoaxes helps somewhat. I doubt it could get much worse than it already is out there.

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Shane McLendon
Wannabe geek and FLOW Seeker