Fake news is a big problem on the internet and Facebook in particular these days (yeah, we know OK?), so more and more people are trying to come up with ways to block it out and get around it invading their news feeds and going viral.
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A guy called Daniel Sieradski is one of the last after he created an app called BS Detector. This produces red warning signs for anything that it detects as fake news. Unfortunately, someone decided to install it, then proceeded to forget they had installed it, assumed that said warning signs were Facebook itself trying to alert you about fake news and then proceeded to write an article for TechCrunch about these new Facebook improvements. Whoops.
You might think that a big website like TechCrunch would figure this out before publishing it, but you would be wrong (hey, happens to the best of us, right?) and they unfortunately didn’t bother to do any fact checking on said article and instead just stuck it up, thus creating its own piece of fake news about fake news filters. But the best part was yet to come: the fake news filter didn’t recognise it as fake news. Wow.
Here’s what Sieradski – who is pictured below and also contacted TechCrunch to inform them of their mistake – had to say about the whole incident:
I thought it was the most meta thing I’ve ever seen: a fake news article about a fake news detector.
The proliferation of misinformation has severely impacted people’s ability to make informed decisions when it comes to politics and other issues.
This is how anti-semitism surges in a public sphere instead of staying in the dark corners of the internet. These conspiracy theories move into mainstream discourse and become adopted as factual beliefs.
I was irritated by Mark Zuckerberg’s claims that fake news was a difficult problem to solve so built BS Detector to prove him wrong.
It’s worked fairly well so far but clearly there are some issues to iron out.
Yeah he doesn’t sound too happy does he? Hopefully he figures it out though, as BS Detector sounds like a fairly useful app and Seiradski claims it’s already been downloaded 25,000 times.
It works by cross referencing news links with a database of questionable news sources. If there is a match then a red warning sign appears flagging the site as an unreliable news outlet. There are also different classifications of site, such as fake news, satire, extreme bias, conspiracy theory, junk science, state news or hate groups, so he has put a lot of effort into creating the most complete filter out there. The only question I have about it is this: what category of site is Sick Chirpse recognised as?
For more fake people, check out this fake ‘sex coach’ who got busted by sending the same message to his 250 girlfriends. Unlucky.