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How to fight fake news on social media

by Baylie Clevenger The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte's editorial board. It was revealed recently that Facebook failed to stop meddling in the 2016 election. Russian bots were using Facebook as a way to spread fake information in an attempt to sway voters. Facebook is no stranger to scandal, as earlier this year it was discovered that Facebook failed to stop a third-party analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, from accessing user information. User privacy has been a common issue with Facebook. There has even been speculation that Facebook and Instagram utilize user’s cell phones and other electronic devices to listen to them and then personalize ads for them.

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Cambridge Analytica gained access to personal information on more than 50 million Facebook accounts, as reported by the New York Times. This information was then used to sway voters in the 2016 presidential election. As the 2018 midterm elections have just passed, Facebook was criticized again for about 100 accounts that were suspected to be meddling in the election. USA Today reported that there was activity in French, English, and also Russian. The difference with this incident is that most of the accounts were on Instagram. Of the suspicious accounts that were removed, 30 of them were on Facebook but about 85 of them were on Instagram. The phenomenon of suspicious accounts and election meddling is usually associated with Facebook. What users commonly overlook is that Facebook owns Instagram. Facebook-owned Instagram is just as likely to have false information and suspicious content as Facebook. So how do users of both Facebook and Instagram fight back against political meddling and false information?

Stay informed

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Take some time to check facts

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Actively denounce false information

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