Days after the American Presidential election that saw Republican candidate Donald Trump ascend to that country’s presidency, opinion has been divided on the role that new media platforms like Facebook played in getting him elected despite polls predicting otherwise.
In particular, Facebook has come under fierce criticism for failing to act on hoax news sites which are thought to have swayed the opinion of some of the voters in the just-ended election and as a result contributed in a big way to Trump’s win. This is something that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has come out to say never happened while stating that its users were still exposed to a news feed that was accurate most of the time.
“Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes. The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics. Overall, this makes it extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other,” the Facebook founder wrote on his page on Sunday.
Facebook has since gone ahead to ban fake news organizations from its advertising platform, a move that Google has also taken as the chickens come home to roost after the hotly-contested and highly-divisive election.
This Facebook trending story is 100% made up.
Nothing in it is true.
This post of it alone has 10k shares in the last six hours. pic.twitter.com/UpgNtMo3xZ
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) November 14, 2016
While Facebook’s higher ups continue being in denial about the platform being a hotbed of links to questionable news sources (and their juniors organizing meetings behind their backs to ponder the issue), someone else is taking action and it involves a Chrome browser extension. Aptly named B.S. Detector, the extension, once enabled, flags any news stories from questionable sources.
While this is not what many have been asking from the likes of Facebook and it is unlikely to have much impact since most users access Facebook on their mobile devices either through the Facebook app or mobile web browsers, it is a step in the right direction that most Chrome users may come to appreciate.