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Four college students fixed Facebook’s fake news problem in just 36 hours

Four college students fixed Facebook’s fake news problem in just 36 hours

Let’s face it, we all come across a number of posts on our Facebook feed on a daily basis with totally contrasting information from one another. An average user is often left guessing whether the source of the news is accurate or not as they have no means to verify it.

The issue is very real and it came into light during the recent US general elections as Facebook came under fire for allowing hoaxes and misinformation to go viral and — according to some critics — boost the efforts of Republican Donald Trump in his successful presidential run.

However, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg rejected the idea that bogus stories shared on the social network paved a path of victory for President-elect Donald Trump.

Zuckerberg sure fake news on Facebook didn’t sway election

“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,” Zuckerberg said during an on-stage chat at a technology trends conference in California.

Now, it seems that four college students, Anant Goel, Nabinta De, Qinglin Chen, and Mark Craft, have found a solution for this. They have built a Chrome browser extension, called FiB, that tags links in Facebook feeds as verified or not verified by taking into account factors such as the source’s credibility and cross-checking the content with other news stories. If a post appears to be false, the plug-in will provide a summary of more credible information on the topic online.

Trump credits social media with election win

As FiB was developed in just a day and a half, they have released it as an “open-source project,” asking anyone with development experience to help them improve it. The plugin is now officially available through the Chrome web store.

PHOTO COURTESY: WASHINGTON POST

One of the team members, Anant Goel said that ideally, Facebook would team up with a third-party developer such as FiB so that the company could control all news feed data but then let the developers verify it so Facebook couldn’t be accused of “hidden agendas or biases.”

Courtesy : Express Tribune

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