One my Facebook friends asked this question yesterday. He thought technology could help tackle the problem. But I doubt it.
Here’s what I said:
Hmmm. It’s a very difficult problem to solve if left for technology alone. Why? Algorithms were the main reasons why fake news got to people in the first place. Facebook’s Social graph interest tracking algorithm suggests news to people based on what others think about the story or how much times it had been shared.
So if technology was to curate the news against fake stories, it would have to know what stories are true, or seem true, and what stories are false, or seem false.
Yet if it does that, good or bad, it will completely filter news stories. And in such scenario, there would be a higher probability that it would filter true stories almost as well as it would the false ones.
Or alternatively, an algorithm could be built that would allow stories from “trusted” sources to go without being curated, while stories from “less trust-worthy” sources would be curated. But this would give unfair advantage to the mainstream news media platforms, and reduce the chances of new interesting content coming out from average bloggers.
The best solution would be to leverage human editors and an algorithm that would track trending or mildly popular stories on the social media. The human editors would do a background check on the story. Anyone that fails the check gets removed and the ones that pass remain.
But still there exist a window of opportunity/time between the creation of the fake news stories, and when editor check it for the story to already be shared by a lot of people. But it’s worth the try….