Tell Fake from Fact with this Chrome Extension
If there’s one thing we can take away from last week’s presidential elections in the U.S., it’s that social media is one of the most powerful tools to influence people’s minds. However, it also highlighted that “with great power, comes great responsibility”. Some say that the result of the elections were largely influenced by fake news spread through Facebook and other social media. Lucklily, there's now a handy Chrome extension to help you distinguish between fake news and fact.
The Wall Street Journal illustrated the issue best with its ‘Blue Feed, Red Feed’ simulation, which allows you to compare a Liberal Facebook Feed to a Conservative one. It shows how your personal Facebook feed favors messages that support your political views – as well as those of your social network. In other words, your personalized Facebook News Feed becomes what scholars are now calling “echo chambers”, referring to the continual reinforcement of certain political ideas and ideals.
The race to the White House was a strongly mediatized and polarizing one. Both campaigns seemed focused on making the other party look bad, especially when the deadline drew near. A large part of this mud fight was fought out on Facebook and one of the weapons of choice was fake news. Facebook, being essentially a social sharing platform, not a factchecking news site, turned out to be a very fruitful battlefield for both camps.
What do you think about the use of social media in political campaigns? And do you think this kind of fact checking extension is good or bad news?
We'd love to hear your thoughts on this in the comment section below!