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Facebook's plan to fight election interference

Facebook's plan to fight election interference
© Nazar Zherebtsov | Dreamstime.com

Facebook has really been under fire lately. It started a couple weeks ago with the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook fiasco.

Many people are super annoyed with the social media giant for breaching their privacy. And rightfully so.

The company's problems didn't begin there, either. It has been taking heat for a couple years for allowing fake news to be spread on the site and possibly affecting the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Now, Facebook is making moves to try and strengthen election security. But do you really trust it to do the right thing?

Can we really trust Facebook?

Facebook announced this week that it is taking steps to protect elections from abuse and exploitation from foreign agents. The announcement came in the form of a blog post as well as a conference call with journalists.

One of the goals is to keep fake news from populating the site. Last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg implemented a plan that was supposed to help. It started asking for copies of government-issued ID's and confirming addresses by snail mail for those wanting to purchase election ads.

The latest attempt at cleaning this mess up is having photos and videos fact-checked. It started this process last week in France with the help of a French news agency.

In the U.S., Facebook will team up with the Associated Press (AP) to try and debunk fake news stories. But could this possibly work?

Think about it. There are tons of fake news stories constantly being shared and there are nearly 2 billion Facebook users. How many fact-checkers would it take to actually stop the nonsense from spreading? More than Facebook is willing to employ I'm sure.

It's going to be really hard to stop. That's because writing fake news has become big business.

One writer of fake news, who frequently posts stories on Facebook, told the Washington Post that he makes nearly $10,000 a month from AdSense. AdSense is an advertising placement service by Google. It's designed for site publishers who display targeted content on webpages to earn money when visitors to their site click on the ads.

Getting paid to write misleading news is a growing business. The goal is to create content that seems shocking so it will go viral and drive traffic to the writer's site. The more visitors the site has, the more money the writer makes.

It can be difficult to tell which stories are real and which ones are fake. That's the evil genius behind this type of writing. Fake-news writers often base their misinformation on real stories, twisting something happening in the real world into false information, hoping it will go viral.

Your best bet for getting accurate information might be sticking with the standard sources that you've trusted for years. Like Kim Komando.

To learn more about the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook fiasco we mentioned earlier, listen to Kim's podcast below. You'll hear Kim's inside scoop from an internet security lawyer and risk management pro on this Komando on Demand free podcast.

FACEBOOK IS ALSO COLLECTING DATA FROM YOUR CALLS AND TEXTS

Facebook is keeping track of phone calls and text messages. If that sounds bad that's because it is, though according to Facebook it's not exactly what it seems. Click here to see what we are talking about.

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