Facebook, which is known for inadvertently circulating fake news, was extensively used during the presidential election by the candidates. But CEO Mark Zuckerberg refuses to accept that the network could have had any sort of influence on the outcome of the presidential election.
Fake news on Facebook had no impact on elections?
On Thursday night at the Techonomy conference in Half Moon Bay, California, Zuckerberg reportedly said, “Personally I think the idea that fake news on Facebook, which is a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way, I think is a pretty crazy idea. Voters make decisions based on their lived experience.”
Zuckerberg said that since false and inaccurate articles were posted about both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, fake news could not have influenced the election.
“Why would you think there would be fake news on one side and not the other?” he said.
Zuckerberg has always been dismissive of Facebook’s role in the media business, and it seems he doesn’t believe that the content served to its users actually matters to them.
However, the findings from the Pew Research Center proved that nearly 20% of Americans changed their views on an issue because of something they saw on social media. Also a BuzzFeed investigation earlier this year found that the top right-wing Facebook news outlets published false or misleading stories 38% of the time, while the top left-wing outlets did so only 20% of the time.
Others are more serious about the issue
Others, however, are taking the matter very seriously and believe that the company does have a responsibility to its users for what they see or read on the network, notes Mashable. On Thursday, Facebook’s VP of product management, Adam Mosseri, said that the company will work to combat hoaxes.
Mosseri said the company values authentic communication, and it gets continuous feedback from users that they do not wish to be misinformed. In the past two years there have been at least four instances of the company making similar statements, notes Mashable.
Facebook had to face a lot of controversies this year after it allowed a proliferation of misleading information in its News Feed, which acts as a source of information for about 1.18 billion people on daily basis. Defining how exposure to certain articles, video or photographs can impact users’ lives is somewhat impossible, but suggesting that it has absolutely zero effect is downright cynical. If that were actually true, then people would not log into the site every single day.