Misinformation and social media

How Private Information Helps Fake News Hoodwink the Public

The amount of misinformation on the internet is mind-boggling and social media seems to be a breeding ground for a lot of it. The unfortunate part about this is that many impressionable people fall for it and spread it among their friends and family. Social Media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, have an ethical responsibility to track down the misinformation posted on their sites and remove them.

I immediately chuckled when I saw one of the articles assigned being about Facebook and its management, or in this case mismanagement, of vaccine misinformation because this was one of the main topics me and my friends would discuss constantly. It has at this point become a well-known meme amongst people in my age group with new humorous images about this topic showing up online almost every day. Facebook has made an effort to create algorithms to detect and remove Covid-19 misinformation, but like the article suggested, the posts and comments are outpacing the removals.

I absolutely believe that misinformation is a much larger issue now than before the time of social media. The main reason being that now anyone, and I mean literally anyone, can create a post or a comment on social media and have it seen and read by millions of people. There is no filter or anyone overseeing these posts before they are sent out and this is a huge problem. The only real solution now is to improve on the algorithms that these social media platforms have created to find the misinformation and remove it, especially since there’s no possible way to have a human go through each of the millions of posts made every day. It of course will never be 100% accurate, but with technology constantly advancing and being improved, I remain optimistic.

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