Fake News? Facebook ‘faces’ the facts
It doesn’t matter your party affilation. You realize the growing problem of being exposed to fake news especially on online social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The Russia investigation continues and takes center stage in the news. If Russia’s online campaign did heavily influence the results from the 2016 Presidential Election and other political races, then the U.S. has a a major problem to address.
Facebook taking the initiative
Facebook is taking this issue now very seriously and is being proactive in addressing this problem to prevent this from ever happening again. There are not only political motives but other motives too in campaigns trying to change the way people think and spreading lies.
Facebook pulling Facebook accounts
Along with the multitude of scandals faced this year, Facebook can now add domestic actors to their list of troubles. Facebook recently pulled over 800 U.S. accounts and pages that were spreading fake news.
Facebook removed 559 pages and 251 accounts that were working on spreading misinformation and spam in the U.S. In the past, domestic actors created fake pages and accounts with celebrity news or health news to attract views. Currently, these pages are filled with shocking political news to attract people for mostly financial motives.
How fake accounts grow their audience
These fake accounts also post the same clickbait posts in dozens of Facebook Groups to drum up traffic on their websites. They use their fake accounts to generate fake likes and shares, which artificially inflates engagement for their inauthentic pages and posts. Thus, this causes these pages to increase in popularity and improve their ranking in the news feed, ultimately misleading users.
In the past Facebook has pulled hundreds of fake pages spreading political misinformation from countries like Russia and Iran. The aim there was to create tension in the U.S, setting up protest events and moments of outrage.
While the motives were different, both instances were able to artificially increase the popularity of certain news. Facebook tries to take down accounts and pages that are not from real people. Some of the pages they removed had a large following of real and fake accounts.
Our role as marketers
As marketers, it is our job to NOT support fake news sites and keep our distance from these pages. We do not want any marketer from having any association with these accounts. We look forward to the day when these are 100% removed.