Fake news is everywhere, especially online, and most especially on Facebook. Not a few have been victimized by them so that gossips, hoaxes and malicious disinformation have been passed around on social networks even by honest folks who were not aware of them.
In fact, even Facebook worries about the possibility that fake news online and especially on social media could have had influenced the recent US presidential election results where Donald Trump won. If so, how could fake news be stopped?
The good news, stop it will soon with this upcoming Chrome extension. Called, “B.S. Detector,” this chrome extension is a new project which was released on Tuesday, November 15, and is said to identify and flag prank or fake news online.
Particularly, it is reported to detect articles posted on Facebook which came from a “questionable source.” The article still appears, but a warning pops up when Facebook users scroll over the article seen on feed. Prevention from being tricked by fake news then still depends on you, the user—whether you’d pay attention to the warning or go on biting the bait.
The Chrome extension creator, Daniel Sieradski, shared on Product Hunt how he collected a list of popular hoax sites which the extension flags. The other alternative way of doing it would have been to develop an algorithm to caution users about each article. Sieradski said the sites dotted the political landscape. Users may request settings modification on Github.
“I built this in about an hour yesterday after reading [Mark Zuckerberg’s] BS about not being able to flag fake news sites. Of course you can. It just takes having a spine to call out nonsense,” the extension creator wrote. “This is just a proof of concept at this point, but it works well enough,” he added.
This Chrome extension is apt for Facebook. Users sometimes get confused when articles from New York Times are seen next to hoaxes from InfoWars, for instance. There is no clear distinction between the two news sources on Facebook news feeds. It will even be more effective if users actually download the extension, one report said. These users are most susceptible to hoax news on Facebook.
The following weeks after the recent US presidential election, Facebook has been criticized for lacking a scrutinizing system to warn users about hoaxes. In a related story, Gizmodo claimed on Monday that Facebook actually had thought of using tools to fight hoaxes on its site but dismissed the matter for fear of being branded politically biased. Facebook denied this though.
Instead, Facebook said on Tuesday that it would bar fake news sites from its ad network, something what Google also did to remedy bogus search results.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said post-election that it was “pretty crazy” to think that the outcome of the recent election was influenced by fake news.