What Has Cambridge Analytica Done to Crowdsourcing As a Way to Identify Fake News?

March 29, 2018

The battle to counteract fake news is hitting a strange, new chapter. Where, once, the falsification of news was the source of much ridicule and scrutiny, now it’s the solution to the problem. Social media titans are suggesting solutions, but the public isn’t so sure, as we discovered in a recent Slate story, “A Surprising New Study Shows That Facebook’s Ridiculed Plan to Rate The Media Could Actually Work.”

According to the story:

“In at least one plausible interpretation of the survey results, the respondents distinguished the credible outlets from the sketchy ones with near-perfect accuracy. Nineteen of the 20 mainstream news outlets in the sample were trusted more by both Democrats and Republicans than any of the other 40 outlets were trusted by respondents of either party.”

According to the Neiman Lab Facebook’s ratings system has a flaw built into the system. It seems like a great idea to rate the trustworthiness of news sources, but the fact that the system will be crowdsourced pretty much ensures that nobody will trust the results. In a world filled with hackers and bots that can funnel millions of votes toward crowdsourced content, it’s going to be hard to trust the trustworthiness of Facebook’s venture. Certainly, they will have filters in place to try to prevent such corruption, but the public will likely always be a little weary.

Beyond Search wonders if the information about this initiative is itself either fake news or an example of how some individuals issue a report in order to shape perception. Isn’t this the core method of the GSR Cambridge Analytica matter?

Patrick Roland, March 29, 2018


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