Facebook has become a hub of fake news wars. Whether it be people spreading actual fake news, or people reporting real news as fake simply because they do not like it. Ah, the freedom of social media.
Due to this sudden foe, if you will, Facebook has become the Fake News Police. While it seems unfair that they get to choose what is real and what is fake, since they are heavily bias against Conservative media, I will admit that the spam, click bait, and untrue news really is a nuisance.
So, here is a huge step that Facebook is taking to assure this problem is ceased: Removing the ability to modify link previews.
What is a link preview? It is what you see on Facebook as an article. Before, pages were able to post a link, but change the title and photo on the Facebook side of things. Meaning they could take a malicious article and make it appear to be about something appealing, such as puppies, to get people to click on it. It was commonly used to share fake news, but made to look as if it was from a reputable source .
Fox News reports:
Yesterday, Facebook removed the ability to edit those previews, thus ensuring what you see before clicking a shared link is real. The only exception to this rule is publishers who still have the ability to edit previews to content on their own websites.
While this move won’t get rid of fake news completely from Facebook, it’s certainly going to stop a lot of it appearing there. It also greatly increases the trust Facebook will garner from its users knowing that a link they click is taking them to the destination the preview advertises.
Facebook will need to regularly review the impact this change has and how content creators react to it. For example, if the preview can’t be changed on Facebook then what’s to stop the website the preview content is pulled from adjusting their content to fool the preview?
The cat and mouse game with fake news will of course continue, but Facebook just removed one of the easiest methods of allowing it to exist and spread on the biggest social network in the world.
Some people see this as borderline censorship. However, I think we will all be happy to see the pesky fake news diminishing…..on Facebook, I mean. CNN is still airing so there will always be fake news there.