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This article was published on November 18, 2016


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

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

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 havesome 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.