Social Media

Facebook sees jump in misinformation as reports warn of incitement

Facebook - Appy Pie

Facebook is witnessing a jump in the upsetting activity of misinformation spreading around the US election, according to reports. The reports say that the company has seen a rise in violence and incitement trends associated with hashtags and keywords.

However, Facebook did not clarify a potential rise of violent activity on its platform by the time of publication, but Facebook spokesperson Liz Bourgeois said that the company is becoming vigilant in detecting content that could incite violence during this time of heightened uncertainty. The spokesperson said, “Facebook is seeing a huge rise in misinformation around the election. As vote counting continues, we are witnessing more reports of inaccurate claims about the election. Even though these claims have low engagement on our platform, we are taking additional temporary steps to keep this content from reaching more people.”

The company had initially planned to deal with the spread of viral misinformation about the election with tools designed for at-risk countries such as Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Facebook has even taken down a group “Stop the Steal” from its platform. The group had more than 300,000 members and was organizing rallies to challenge election results earlier.

The company plans to reduce the content on Facebook and Instagram platforms that systems predict may be misinformation, including debunked claims about voting. The spokesperson further said, “We also have plans to limit the distribution of Live videos that may relate to the election on Facebook.” The company will also make it harder to share content. That means Facebook could require an extra click when sharing content.

Facts suggest that a lot of that misinformation is coming directly from President Donald Trump. In one post, Trump claimed that any vote coming in after election day cannot be counted; Facebook applied a label to that post directing readers to the company’s voting information center. In another post, which Facebook labeled, he demanded that election officials should stop counting votes.

Though the news organizations have not yet declared a winner in the presidential election.

Just like Facebook, Twitter has also taken action on some of Trump’s tweets since the election, often using a label on the tweet and preventing replies or retweets of those tweets. Though, quote tweets of the labeled tweets are still allowed. It also labeled a couple of tweets on “election theft” and mail-in ballots as misleading by US President Donald Trump.

Facebook had also announced several measures to reduce the spread of misinformation on its platforms before the election.


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