Technology

On Google, Facebook and the power of fake news

Safe to say, this article won’t have a quarter of the impact that April 28 published on December 28. True, Microsoft did not buy Sony. However, Google and Facebook have taken it upon themselves to give truth to fake news to all lights. The “boom” was such that the server sometimes stopped responding, preventing us from continuing to post news (real news).

Google and Facebook, the main culprits of the distribution

All digital media depends on two other giants: Google and Facebook. Google has 90% of the global search engine share, which is the primary way people find us. In addition, Google has Discover, a small news feed that appears in its apps for iOS and Android.

Discover all the news related to our preferences. This tool has an algorithm that uses our searches, likes and followed topics to provide us with personalized information. In other words, you could say that Google is showing us what we want to read… And who wouldn’t want to read that Microsoft bought Sony?

It’s the story of how Google made fake news go viral because that’s what people wanted to read. At the time of posting the article, we weren’t aware this could happen. The reason is that we are innocent, we believe what Google tells us about positioning: use natural and descriptive headlines, use reliable sources and create real news.

Another way to say that Windows 10X will have “Modern Standby” … Although, really, it’s not something very new.

The reality is, Discover is full of deceptive headlines and news with little to no verified content. Likewise, the algorithm detected that April Fool’s Day on Sony was perfect for people to come in to read, and they did. After all, Google is an advertising company, and upon entering, users consume Google advertising. They always win.

As for Facebook, the algorithm that puts the news in our news feed acts in the same way. Facebook is also going to provide us with content that we want to read according to our tastes, and it has done the same. Indeed, the company targeted by the fake news in the US election continues to encourage us to consume fake news.

The ease of sharing hoaxes without contrasting information

However, not only are algorithms doing their job of giving us what we want to read. This function also corresponds to our friends, relatives (brothers-in-law) and people with influence on social networks. This is the second method of spreading fake news or hoaxes. How many people shared the news of the Sony purchase on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube… and even LinkedIn?

According to the data we are processing, on Twitter and Facebook thousands of people have shared the news. We can highlight Santiago Niño Becerra, economist, professor at the University of Barcelona and collaborator at La Sexta. The economist posted the news on his Twitter account, where he has more than 200,000 followers, and must have “picked up the cable” several hours later in a bad way.

We continue towards the oligopoly. https://t.co/XAVFa4Lvx5

– Santiago Niño (@sninobecerra) December 28, 2020

The Unknown World account, with around 80,000 subscribers, also echoed the news, noting that now “Sony is also Bill Gates”, although it deleted it a few minutes later when it discovered the fish of the world. ‘April. In fact, it is surprising because we are talking about a character who could perfectly say that Araceli, the first vaccinated against COVID-19, now lives connected to Vodafone’s 5G network.

Spreading hoaxes is easier than reading the news. On LinkedIn, executives, brokers and economists echoed the news. We are talking about a corporate social network, where you risk your credibility. It shows that no matter what your position or social status, no one is spared from falling into the trap and collaborating in spreading fake news.

In fact, the main reason is that people only have the title. If anyone observes the comments on the news, many users have realized that the news cannot be real. The numbers and facts might be real, but can anyone really think Microsoft wants to bring Groove Music back? Or that regulators had to allow a clearly monopoly purchase?

The haters and the frustration caused by fake news

Finding the news on Google and finding out that it is fake news generates frustration. However, this fake news causes even greater frustration when an acquaintance sends it to you. Let’s say your best friend just sent you a piece of news where he told you that you can play Spider-Man: Miles Morales on your brand new Xbox.

At that point, you don’t stop to think that if it’s December 28th, you go to the Xbox website and start to see how much the Game Pass membership would cost. However, you finish reading the news or reading the comments, and that’s where you start to see the harsh reality: the news is fake, an innocent, you stung and that illusion goes. What happens then? Blame the editor.

What will my mother have to do with all of this?

Granted, a waiter wrote the innocent news, and while I can tell a lot of people liked the innocent, it always ended up highlighting the wrong people. That way, I can tell you that, mostly via Twitter, they didn’t call me particularly nice things or remember my family because it was Christmas, precisely.

“You did it for a handful of visits”

The answer, resoundingly, is no. By the time we hit the post button, we never knew what could happen. We did not even imagine remotely that we would receive so much traffic. The main proof of this is that the server was not prepared or sized to handle 700 requests per minute.

It is true that an innocent person, contrary to what one would like, has become the most read news of Microsofters, since we started walking in May 2018. Yet, bringing together 4 thousand people simultaneously on the web That Caused us more problems than benefits: server slowdown, multiple crashes and inability to access the WordPress backend to continue posting news.

Many regular users have encountered this error while accessing the web.

Hopefully Google positions us in the same way when we post news on Windows 10, Microsoft Teams, or any other actual news from our regular operations. However, the clickable bait and bait titles sell a lot more and allow Google to make more profit. Ultimately, as Google is the main source of revenue for many media, the only thing it causes is corruption and information bias.

Therefore, many sports media are still talking about one or two football teams, or speculating with rumors of impossible signings. Mbappé plays for Real Madrid or Messi for Atlético de Madrid? Who wouldn’t want to read this? And in the same way, it happens with other “serious” media, which are devoted to spreading hoaxes on different political parties.

Because of this, you will see how fake news quickly shows up in your WhatsApp chats or social networks, but you will never see the rectification. It is our responsibility to compare and verify the information we receive. Unfortunately, as I said at the beginning, this article will not be as widely distributed as if I told you that “Microsoft acquires Sony with all its divisions, including PlayStation”

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