Facebook, Twitter fight against the surge of fake news during 2018 US midterm election

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Two big names of the social media world, Facebook and Twitter, were busy in a battle against misinformation and fake news on their platforms during the mid-term US election on Tuesday, November 6.

USA Today reported on Tuesday that Mark Zuckerberg's company, which faced serious issues this year, has removed "misinformation, such as posts and memes, urging Republicans and Democrats to vote on the wrong day and claims that federal immigration agents would be patrolling polling places".

CNET reported that Facebook took actions against misleading and inaccurate posts that showed different voting days and told the Democrats and Republicans to vote on those dates.

As per a Facebook spokesperson, "The team is closely monitoring the election from our war room and are in regular contact with our partners in government. So far we haven't seen anything unexpected. We will continue to monitor activity closely and act quickly against content that violates our policy."

Reports also stated that the other social media platform, Twitter claimed it was combating voter suppression but did not share the details of those tweets, which were removed from the platform.

But Carlos Monje, Twitter's Director of Policy and philanthropy for US and Canada clearly said in a statement that the social media platform continues "to have success in this regard and are enforcing our policies vigilantly, particularly against automation and voter suppressive content on the service. As always, we encourage users to think before sharing."

On Monday, November 5 Facebook stated that the company has taken the initiative and blocked 30 accounts from its platform as well as 85 Instagram profile that may be engaged in "coordinated inauthentic behaviour" from foreign individuals into the mid-term election.

After the US law enforcement contacted Facebook about some online activity that they noticed in recent days, the California based company said that they immediately blocked those accounts and currently investigating them.

Earlier, Twiends, the platform which allows people to grow twitter followers safely and responsibly, reported that New Yorkers are responsible for sharing most fake news compared to any other state in the country. As per the analysis, one in four people has visited fake news websites during the 2016 US Presidential Election. The researchers also found that 27.4 percent of Americans age 18 or older visited an article on a pro-Trump or pro-Clinton fake news website when the study was conducted.

In addition to that, the founder of Twiends.com, Dave Sumter, wrote that as per the "hundreds of stories examined from over 20,000 unique Twitter users, the fake news was most often shared in New York. With 12.5 Twitter users sharing fake news per 100,000 residents, the state was responsible for the most fake news shares over the year."

This article was first published on November 7, 2018
Related topics : Fake news Facebook