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Efforts to Fight Fake Content Could be All for Naught

11 Oct, 2017 By: Doug McPherson

STAMFORD, Conn. – As Google, Facebook, and Microsoft develop artificial intelligence (AI) platforms to detect fake content, a new report says their work could be all for naught.

Research company Gartner predicts in a new study that AI-driven creation of fake content will outpace the technology's ability to detect it among consumers by 2020. The result: an era of "digital distrust" where people will consume more false information than true, Gartner says.

But for now, digital giants continue to create new ways to battle fake news. Last week, Facebook began testing a button people can tap for additional context on an article without needing to go to another page. 

A Facebook spokesperson says the new tool will help users “make an informed decision about which stories to read, share, and trust.”

For contextual information, Facebook is relying on items from publisher’s Wikipedia entries to trending and related articles on its own network.

“If that information is not available, we will let people know, which itself can be helpful context,” the spokesperson said.

Facebook has admitted that Russian agents used its network to distribute disinformation to about 10 million U.S. users. Facebook has also been used to help circulate misinformation about the Oct. 1 massacre in Las Vegas.

“We’re still looking for abuse and bad actors on our platform,” Elliot Schrage, vice president of policy and communications at the social giant, said in a blog post last week.

YouTube says it is "accelerating" changes to its search engine by tweaking the algorithm that promotes authoritative sources in results at the top of the query page.

The Wall Street Journal reports YouTube is making those changes after the fifth result of a search about the Las Vegas shooting on YouTube yielded a video titled “Proof Las Vegas Shooting Was a FALSE FLAG attack – Shooter on 4th Floor."

Microsoft has announced it is adding “fact check” labels to its Bing results so users can tell at a glance if a particular news story has been debunked. The label can be applied to sites and individual articles.

About the Author: Doug McPherson

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