If you’re even a casual user of Facebook, you’ve no doubt seen fake news crop up in your News Feed — especially around political topics. Because of its sheer size and structure, the platform is too often abused by bad actors. That’s why it was disappointing, but not necessarily surprising, when a new study from Oxford University found that Facebook is the most common platform used to spread misinformation.
According to the study, the number of governments or political parties that have engaged in social media manipulation over the last three years has doubled. The researchers said that two factors — Facebook’s global reach and ease of sharing — are responsible for the spread. That puts the onus squarely on the company to solve the problem. For its part, Facebook says it’s taking proactive steps to address the issue.
“We’ve developed smarter tools, greater transparency, and stronger partnerships to better identify emerging threats, stop bad actors, and reduce the spread of misinformation on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp,” a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider. “We also know that this work is never finished and we can’t do this alone. That’s why we are working with policymakers, academics, and outside experts to make sure we continue to improve.”
All of that may be true, but as the results of the Oxford study show, Facebook still has its work cut out for it to tackle fake news.
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