Facebook has long had a problem with fake news, hoaxes and scams spreading quickly on its pages. However, it has been an issue that has largely been discussed outside of the public spotlight — until this week, when many critics accused Facebook’s news algorithm of allowing the spread of fake news that influenced the U.S. presidential election.
In response to the intense post-election finger pointing, Facebook responded with a statement admitting the scope of the problem it faces — and the amount of work it still needs to do.
“We look at a variety of signals to help make sure the topics being shown are reflective of real-world events, and take additional steps to prevent false or misleading content from appearing,” said Adam Mosseri, the VP of product management at Facebook. “Despite these efforts we understand there’s so much more we need to do, and that is why it’s important that we keep improving our ability to detect misinformation. We’re committed to continuing to work on this issue and improve the experiences on our platform.”
While the statement only says that Facebook takes misinformation “very seriously,” and it doesn’t serve as an apology for Facebook’s role in the spread of fake news, it’s clear that the site was shaken by these accusations.