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

Written by Jaymin Shah

Let’s face it, we all come across a number of posts on our Facebook feed on a daily basis with totally contrasting information from one another. An average user is often left guessing whether the source of the news is accurate or not as they have no means to verify it.

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, Nabinta 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.

About the author

Jaymin Shah

Jaymin Shah is a tech entrepreneur. He is the Founder & CEO of TechOptimals. He has made a name for himself in the tech media world as a writer relentlessly covering Technology, in addition to a broad range of startups. Contact Jaymin at jaymin@techoptimals.com

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