October 26, 2016

"Facebook has placed a high-stakes — and, experts say, unwise — bet that an algorithm can play the lead role in stanching the flood of misinformation the powerful social network promotes to its users."

buzzfeed: The social network where 44% of Americans go to get news has in recent weeks promoted in its Trending box everything from the satirical claim that Siri would jump out of iPhones to the lunatic theory that Presidents Bush and Obama conspired to rig the 2008 election. by Craig Silverman

'As Facebook prepares to roll out the Trending feature to even more of its 1.7 billion users, computer scientists are warning that its current algorithm-driven approach with less editorial oversight may be no match for viral lies.

'“Automatic (computational) fact-checking, detection of misinformation, and discrimination of true and fake news stories based on content [alone] are all extremely hard problems,” said Fil Menczer, a computer scientist at Indiana University who is leading a project to automatically identify social media memes and viral misinformation. “We are very far from solving them.”'

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