Whether you’re liberal or conservative, the ‘fake news’ debate continues to rage on and this time the enjoyable Waterford Whisperers has been caught in the crossfire.
Waterford Whisperers, a popular Irish satire website that uses humor and exaggerated irony to expose stupidities, was suggested as being fake news by Facebook.
According to Reddit user TKRedLemonade421, an article entitled ‘Trump Appoints Bill Cosby As Secretary For Women’s Rights’ was noted as being a relatable article to a fact-checking piece about said headline by Snopes.com.
Facebook are now fact checking Waterford Whispers from r/ireland
Snopes.com researches and exposes the spread of misinformation and, essentially, fake news. According to a recent survey, 70% of American people believe they can spot a fake news piece but only 40% felt confident enough to claim it is fake.
Facebook was forced to mitigate the spread of fake news stories after the circulation of thousands of spurious articles dominated the 2016 American presidential elections’ campaign. Considered a threat to democracy, the spread of fake news almost impacted the campaign for the Eighth Amendment referendum in Ireland.
According to a survey conducted by researchers from UCD and UCC on 4,000 Irish participants, 43% purported to remembering an incident that never actually happened when shown false stories about the Yes and No side of the campaign.
Fake news is financially lucrative as websites hosting them can sell ad space. Facebook is using third party sites like Snopes.com to assist in detecting fraudulent news and building new products that curb the spread of fake news and the company is currently updating their detection of fake accounts.
It is unclear how the company plans to mitigate the effect this may have on satire sites such as Waterford Whisperers and The Onion.