Four students fixed Facebook’s fake news problem in 36 hours

Four students fixed Facebook’s fake news problem in 36 hours
Credit: Anant Goel

Facebook’s fake news problem is all the rage these days. After raising hell about Facebook’s role in the recent election — and a misleading response from CEO Mark Zuckerberg — we’re really back at square one. It’s a problem, we all know it’s a problem (save Zuckerberg), and at this point we’re still struggling for a solution — although we do have some suggestions.

According to The Washington Post, four students — Anant Goel, Nabanita De, Qinglin Chen, and Mark Craft — may have solved the problem.

At a hackathon at Princeton University this week, students were given the challenge of solving Facebook’s fake news woes in just a day and a half. The winning team put together an algorithm that was able to distinguish between fake and real news and label the posts accordingly on Facebook.

The system, called ‘FiB,’ powers a Chrome extension that tags link in Facebook as ‘verified’ or ‘not verified’ according to several outside factors. Among them are the source’s credibility, and cross-referencing the content with other news sources. If the source fails the test, you’ll be led to the same story (if it exists) at a more credible source.

The team open sourced the algorithm, although it’s temporarily unavailable due to high demand. Let’s hope Zuck takes notice.

Fake news on Facebook is a real problem. These college students came up with a fix in 36 hours. on The Washington Post

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