Facebook 'Trending' fights fake news on desktop & iPhone, displays trusted publisher & sum...

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 16
In an effort to fight the fake news epidemic, changes to Facebook's Trending section have now rolled out to all users, adding an original, trusted source of the material and brief summary of the story.




The changes, announced at the end of January, are intended to provide more context to what is trending on Facebook, as well as who provided the original information. The headline and source are selected by Facebook based on engagement around the article on Facebook, the engagement around the publisher overall, and whether other articles are linking to it.

As before, selecting the topic sends the user to a page with multiple links to different sources covering the same story.

Facebook claims that the changes should make trending topics be displayed quicker, make the feature more effective at capturing a wide array of news, and also ensure that trending topics reflect real world events being covered by multiple news outlets and aren't some kind of news item intentionally fraudulent and intended to deceive readers -- also known as "fake news."



Topics are automatically selected by an algorithm, but are reviewed by a team to ensure they accurately represent real-world events. Legitimate news is sorted by a variety of factors, according to Facebook, including collating when people report news as fake or spam.

The list is also no longer personalized based on interests, with people in the same region seeing the same topics. Initial AppleInsider testing shows that New York City; Washington D.C.; Burlington, Vt.; Fort Myers, Fla.; San Antonio, Tex; and Erie, Penn. are considered the same region for the Trending category display, at least in the early phases of the U.S.-wide rollout.

On the iPhone app, the Trending stories list is found after hitting the search button.


Fake news about a D.C. restaurant led to a real-life crime.


Apple offers its own News app, and has vowed to do its part to cut down on the spread of misinformation. In an interview last week, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook called fake news "one of today's chief problems," and "not something that has a simple solution."

And earlier this week, Apple's head of internet services Eddy Cue said the company is working on backend solutions to prevent the spread of fake news in the iOS News application.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    chasmchasm Posts: 230member
    I think this is generally a good idea. It gives people more reliable points of reference, but doesn't abridge anyone's rights -- you can still get your freshly made-up fake news if that's what you want. For myself, once the election got going I decided to stop reposting anything from sites I've never heard of, or with obviously click-baity headlines, and to stick with mostly news sources that have, you know, won at least one Pulitzer. I also make sure to actually read anything I'm reposting first -- boy did that cut out a lot of stuff I used to post. My last rule was that if it didn't meet the criteria above, **even if I agree with the political view or wanted to believe it was true** -- I didn't post it until one of the trustworthy sources verified it. Thus far this is working out well, and has as a byproduct eliminated most arguments, since anyone rebutting the share must come up with a better source than what I used. :)
  • Reply 2 of 18
    chasm said:
    I think this is generally a good idea. It gives people more reliable points of reference, but doesn't abridge anyone's rights -- you can still get your freshly made-up fake news if that's what you want. For myself, once the election got going I decided to stop reposting anything from sites I've never heard of, or with obviously click-baity headlines, and to stick with mostly news sources that have, you know, won at least one Pulitzer. I also make sure to actually read anything I'm reposting first -- boy did that cut out a lot of stuff I used to post. My last rule was that if it didn't meet the criteria above, **even if I agree with the political view or wanted to believe it was true** -- I didn't post it until one of the trustworthy sources verified it. Thus far this is working out well, and has as a byproduct eliminated most arguments, since anyone rebutting the share must come up with a better source than what I used. :)
    I don't think it's necessary at all. You yourself said you stopped reposting stories from sources you didnt trust, so why do we need Facebook to do this for us? People should be getting their news from multiple sources and generating their own informed opinions. I think it's a dangerous path to start heading down where maybe in the future sources that Facebook doesn't agree with can start getting left out.

    Nevertheless it's Facebook's platform and they aren't limited by the First Amendment so they can inevitability do what they want. I guess if enough people requested it then they're just giving the people what they want. 
    wonkothesane
  • Reply 3 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,899member
    I'm glad they moved back to showing you a subtitle for the trending topic. I didn't care for that change to remove it last year.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    chasm said:
    I think this is generally a good idea. It gives people more reliable points of reference, but doesn't abridge anyone's rights -- you can still get your freshly made-up fake news if that's what you want. For myself, once the election got going I decided to stop reposting anything from sites I've never heard of, or with obviously click-baity headlines, and to stick with mostly news sources that have, you know, won at least one Pulitzer. I also make sure to actually read anything I'm reposting first -- boy did that cut out a lot of stuff I used to post. My last rule was that if it didn't meet the criteria above, **even if I agree with the political view or wanted to believe it was true** -- I didn't post it until one of the trustworthy sources verified it. Thus far this is working out well, and has as a byproduct eliminated most arguments, since anyone rebutting the share must come up with a better source than what I used. :)
    I don't think it's necessary at all. You yourself said you stopped reposting stories from sources you didnt trust, so why do we need Facebook to do this for us? People should be getting their news from multiple sources and generating their own informed opinions. I think it's a dangerous path to start heading down where maybe in the future sources that Facebook doesn't agree with can start getting left out.

    Nevertheless it's Facebook's platform and they aren't limited by the First Amendment so they can inevitability do what they want. I guess if enough people requested it then they're just giving the people what they want. 
    I agree. News, by its nature, is biased, because it he topic has been selected by someone, as are the actual details provided. So consider a piece of news in tandem with the source - always. And as you said - even better: use multiple sources for the same subject. Foreign sources often can be quite surprising on national subjects, BTW. 
  • Reply 5 of 18
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 266member
    now i can trust the news again!!!! great...!
    ummmmm....no
  • Reply 6 of 18
    Yes get rid of fake news... CNN, Guardian, Huffington Post, BBC, etc.

    Seriously, this is nothing more than a last minute attempt by the mainstream news to quell it's dwindling readership. Accuse the new media of fake news so you can continue to pump out your own fake news. 
    Any company who tries to silence political debate will find themselves yesterdays news pretty rapidly. This message goes to you as well Appleinsider, I'm getting fed up of you shutting down comments sections where your article has a political slant and you can't handle criticism.
    People are just going to go elsewhere.
    edited February 16 icoco3ewtheckman
  • Reply 7 of 18
    Yes get rid of fake news... CNN, Guardian, Huffington Post, BBC, etc.

    Seriously, this is nothing more than a last minute attempt by the mainstream news to quell it's dwindling readership. Accuse the new media of fake news so you can continue to pump out your own fake news. 
    Any company who tries to silence political debate will find themselves yesterdays news pretty rapidly. This message goes to you as well Appleinsider, I'm getting fed up of you shutting down comments sections where your article has a political slant and you can't handle criticism.
    People are just going to go elsewhere.
    It's not debate we have a problem with -- what we have a problem with sometimes is how you treat each other. 

    Factually, you're incorrect, by the way. Paid subscriptions to the "mainstream news" is at an all-time high regardless of slant. Regardless of what side of the aisle you sit, it's a good time to report on politics.

    We have well-defined rules for commentary and discussion, particularly enforced for comments that appear on the front page, where 99% of our traffic comes from. Ignore them at your own peril.
    edited February 16 Soliicoco3
  • Reply 8 of 18
    Yes get rid of fake news... CNN, Guardian, Huffington Post, BBC, etc.

    etc…
    Watch "All the President's Men" to see the kind of fact checking and integrity required in a properly run traditional news room http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074119/

    Then imagine your "new media" reporters living up to that standard.
    SolikbeatKenster999
  • Reply 9 of 18
    Too little too late. They were unwilling to do anything about fake news during the election for fear it would unduly impact Trump and the republicans. Think about that for a minute. We have a pathological liar and President who calls all legitimate news fake, and relies on his Twitter followers for his news and information, while ignoring actual security briefings.  :'(
  • Reply 10 of 18

    Apple News should be on the AppleTV with real news. This is the gaping content hole that cable has. No good news outlet. They all seem to be shills for one of the political parties. Or incompetent. Or both.

    But an interesting idea for original programming on the Apple News Channel would be a daily update of all the Fake News out there coupled with some good host and co-host driven banter. While a lot of the Fake News out there is harmless, some can be quite damaging.

    But a possible way to turn the Fake News industry on it's head would be to aggregate it all into a show and laugh at it a little.

    Get this to an original programming guru to get their take.

    Kenster999
  • Reply 11 of 18
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 3,402member

    Honestly, I can no longer tell what is real over the sensational headlines.

    I am personally tired of the media jumping to some sort of conclusion before all the information is available. I remember it all starting with the  Calif Highway chases in the 1990's where the media would will the dead air with who the person could be and what they could have done to attract the police attention. Most people realize most of what the media saying was all made up. Today it is hard to know what is real and what is made up to fill dead air. I personally read multiply sources and no two sources report the same information and even when they site or quote someone's actually words it is immediately followed by some sort of interruption of those words. The Media feels it is their job to tell people what they should think about a particular event which is playing out in real time. You can see the Media trying to hold their points of views back but eventually they can not help themselves and it all come rolling out.

    The media just need to state the facts, and stop with all the post news analysis since it just their opinions nothing more.

     Facebook will just have to shut off all sources that exist today since they all twist the news to their benefit which is generating advertising $ by getting people to keep watching as they spend time telling stores verse giving facts.

    I worked with a VP and he was famous for saying to people in meeting and such, "The fact will not matter once you hear the story." I heard him say this on many occasions and long before the who Fake News concept began playing out in the media. But he was right most people focus more on the story than the facts so the fact did not mater just a good story 

    edited February 16
  • Reply 12 of 18
    I'd love to see retroactive notification if a story is later determined to be "fake news." I have no idea how to do this (ie, who makes that judgement?) but it could be helpful. For example, it would have been nice if at some point everyone who had posted info about "Pizzagate" could get a notification that the story had been thoroughly debunked. (But the devil is completely in the details here, and too often "truth" is in the eye of the beholder, unfortunately.)
  • Reply 13 of 18
    normmnormm Posts: 485member
    Yes get rid of fake news... CNN, Guardian, Huffington Post, BBC, etc.

    Seriously, this is nothing more than a last minute attempt by the mainstream news to quell it's dwindling readership. Accuse the new media of fake news so you can continue to pump out your own fake news. 
    Any company who tries to silence political debate will find themselves yesterdays news pretty rapidly. This message goes to you as well Appleinsider, I'm getting fed up of you shutting down comments sections where your article has a political slant and you can't handle criticism.
    People are just going to go elsewhere.
    If you care about truth, then you should welcome steps that show sources.  It's so easy to make stuff up that fits people's biases.  
  • Reply 14 of 18
    As mentioned in previous posts, I am a daily deep consumer of national and international news. In my pursuit of accurate information, I have used the Apple News App almost exclusively to aggregate the news I consume. Anyone using the tools provided in this app can reasonably expect to consume only accurate, researched news and current affairs coverage, if it is their intention to partake in only reputable sourced news. By limiting the news sources to established and respected services, all or most information has been adequately vetted.

    if on the other hand, you tend to follow only the sources that reinforce a slanted or political view, than you are much more likely to be exposed to 'fake news'. The NYT, WP, CNN, Reuters, AP, Los Angeles Times, BBC are several of the worthy news sources, with Established and self critical news rooms and staff that I trust.

    To trust many of the partisan sources beyond, those established sources mentioned above, for accurate reporting and vetting of information, especially those resources on the right, alt right and similar, is a challenge to a news consumers logic and good judgement. 

    Many detractors of the established news realm, Cast doubt on the reputable news sources and treat consumers minds like a piece of tough meat pounded into submission. This is happening on a institutional basis at the White House by minimizing opportunities for reputable news operations to ask pertinent questions and degrading the press corps as being fake news, both trends toward an authoritarian leadership style.

    Apple realizes their responsibility, in this area, and I thank them for the Apple News App. and their work going forward.
    Soli
  • Reply 15 of 18
    re: "In an interview last week, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook called fake news "one of today's chief problems," and "not something that has a simple solution.""

    It's not that hard.... Ministry of Truth

    I can't even stomach the MSM anymore. But, I'm torn between explanations of strong bias (and effort) or lazy (and pushing what they're being fed).
    ewtheckman
  • Reply 16 of 18
    This is completely arse about tit, trying to correct for 'fake news' is ridiculous at best and sinister at worst. Sinister because it is one step closer to sanctioned and accepted censorship. The problem is not the news or fakeness of it, the problem is that people who are influenced by it are idiots. I contend that it is not possible to correct the news for idiots, for the lowest common denominator. Idiots will just get their bullshit news elsewhere. Better that 'fake news' is out there in the open so we at least have some idea of what imbeciles are being influenced by.

    Look at Trump's news conference today, he was labelling  actual easy to check facts as 'fake news' are we going to have a warning on that?. The problem is not the news the problem is that idiots are allowed to vote, but then they are also allowed to have children and indoctrinate them into their belief system. Are we going to look for a solution to that too? No, we have to understand that the truth can stand on it's own without protection because eventually the truth will always come out eventually. Doctoring the news due to it's 'untruthfulness' is a slippery slope. In Truth We Trust.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 25member
    The obvious fake news is generally pretty easy to catch. The bigger problem is that the MSM is now pretending to be journalists and promoting a lot of fake news (either via incompetence, or more sinister, the messages being given to them to promote). Propaganda is not legal for the US gov't to use on the citizens, and there are actual departments working to insert material and views into media, movies, etc.

    That's the harder stuff for the average person to pick up, because unless they are listening to alternate sources that uncover it, it appears to be coming from what used to be considered, reputable sources.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 26,254member
    We live in a (largely) free and open society, with regard to speech. People need to be responsible for double or triple checking news sources for themselves. "Fake news" is just an attempt to control which information is deemed "acceptable". That's an outrageous position to take.
    edited March 2 cgWerks
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