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False news put Google and Facebook under pressure

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False news put Google and Facebook under pressure

In time for every catastrophe, false news has boom. If it is unclear what is happening, ories and alleged insider knowledge are asked and clicked. In year 2017, however, topic of so-called fake news is so explosive that world wants to know who circulates information, how much audience y find and what motives behind.

In case of mass murder of Las Vegas, once again two most powerful digital players, Facebook and Google, have been criticized in US. Hobby Internet detectives had identified an uninvolved man as a perpetrator after shooting. Anyone who Googled name got a validating thread of Troll forum 4Chan presented – in box where Google places messages. Since 2014, search has also been taking up sources beyond classic news pages in news box. Why even well-known hoax-sling 4Chan Dazuzählte, probably do not even know Google's own programmers.

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On Facebook, name of alleged perpetrator was found on Safety Check page for a while, where users can tell ir friends that y are safe. As a source, dubious, right-hand side of Alt-right-news served. In past, such news articles were selected by people, and now Facebook also relies on machines. Obviously, quality control is suffering. Both Google and Facebook promised to revise ir algorithms to avoid similar cases in future.

YouTube rejects responsibility

On Wednesday finally, Google's daughter YouTube also got to feel rage of victims ' relatives. Users who were looking for "Las Vegas shooting" also watched videos that represented deadly massacre as a hoax or propagated conspiracy ories into action. A relative said, "If I see my wife wrestling for her life, with a gunshot wound in her breast, and my daughter was also taken, this is quite conclusive proof that it is [ massacre, note. D. Red.] has taken place. " YouTube said that videos did not violate rules of use. The clips were sometimes called several hundred thousand times.

The cases illustrate problems of platform economy. Facebook and Google do not write messages mselves, but distribute m and serve as gatekeepers for world's events for billions of users. This means that y are in journalistic business of information dissemination. Both refused for a long time to accept this role-and refore also responsibility for content. They insisted on being neutral platforms. Facebook, in particular, is gradually taking on a stronger influence on content. Neverless, both companies want to sort out classic messages primarily using algorithms and based on user preferences rar than employing human curators.

For algorithms, truth content does not matter

The current hoaxes show how problematic it is to rely solely on machines. After events in Las Vegas, algorithms focused on how quickly news appeared and spread. The truth content did not matter. The cases are also explosive, because both platforms regularly profess to want more against false news companies. Facebook relies on external Fact Checker, Google provides questionable messages with an appropriate warning message. So far, successes have remained, false news and conspiracy ories are still a problem.

The latter mainly find a million audiences on YouTube. There, interest in "alternative ories" is traditionally particularly large. This is why videos are spreading with promise of "truth", which hides behind generally spread truth. This need serves producers from conviction, ideological reasons or financial motives-after all, great reach on YouTube can be silvered by advertising, regardless of quality of content. All three factors often come toger as well.

Delete more, demand one--just don't say or

In United States, Silicon Valley is located in a pinch mill. On one hand, even progressive circles are demanding that platforms should do more against disinformation. They rely on ads that Russian actors had on Facebook to influence duel between Trump and Clinton. Only after months of delay did Facebook discover attempts to tamper. Also, role of false news in past election campaign had only little talk about Facebook, to concede after massive criticism that fake news was a real problem.

On or hand, conservatives fear that tech companies are too much in flow of information and thus have political influence. You see right to freedom of expression threatened. In fact, question is wher private companies should decide on what can be said and written on Internet. Even jurists often find it difficult to identify right statements, and distinction between truth and falsehood is seldom as clear as in case of false news to Las Vegas.

The stronger Google and Facebook interfere with selection of messages, louder those criticisms that are suppressed and patronized will be expressed. At very least, label that Facebook provides content with dubious veracity seems to provoke a reaction in spite of some users. According to a Yale study, likelihood of a false message being identified as such is increasing by only 3.7 percent. Trump trailers and Under-26-year-olds are even more likely to fall in on hoaxes when Facebook identifies m.

What role hoaxes played in election campaign threaten fake news democracy? Are you dominating election campaign? Does AfD refore win election? In Germany, answer is probably three times: No. By Simon Hurtz more...

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