In January, Facebook announced that it plans to go further after news feed spam. I could not have been more pleased to hear the news. It seems like every time I log onto Facebook, someone has shared or liked a fake news story. Now, users are able to report false news or hoax stories in the same way one reports spam.
For some, this might not seem like a big deal. But, in my opinion, fake news stories are detrimental. Many people already struggle to follow current events and news. And we, as a society, don’t need to collectively make ourselves dumber and more ignorant.
I don’t have a problem with sites like The Onion or UNC’s own satirical publication, The Minor, because people understand what’s before them — a made-up story full of jokes and usually a chuckle or two. Other sites, such as The Daily Current, financially capitalize on our gullibility by creating fake stories with “must click” headlines.
My only concern is that people will abuse the feature. I can see the potential for someone to flag a legit story just because they don’t agree with what it says, especially in the political realm. Hopefully, Facebook can stop this from happening because this tool is a step in the right direction for the social network.