MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Is the era of the fake news over?
Not quite yet. But Duterte critics and fake news haters alike were jubilant today as Facebook announced that it has taken down 95 pages and 39 accounts – most being pro-Duterte pages and a few non-political pages with content considered by Facebook as bad.
As listed in Facebook’s company blog, among the pages taken down are the following:
Duterte sa Pagbabago BUKAS
DU30 Trending News
News Media Trends
Pilipinas Daily News
Like and Win
Karlo ang Probinsiyano
A quick Facebook search though shows that Duterte Media, Duterte Phenomenon, and Du30 Trending News still exist on Facebook.
In the recent years, we have witnessed the proliferation of “fake news”, defined in the Collins Dictionary as “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting.” In the Philippines, FB pages like the ones listed above incited arguments between Duterte critics and pro-Duterte camps by posting sensationalized content. These FB pages lead to websites filled with low quality content and advertisement. Facebook also revealed that all the listed pages linked to the same advertising click farms.
The takedown happens in the midst of a worldwide battle against fake news. For Facebook, it is “part of our ongoing efforts to protect our services from abuse.”
To detect bad behavior by Facebook pages and accounts, Facebook uses reports from the community, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
“This takedown is a small step in the right direction, and we will continue working to find and remove more bad content.”
For perspective, here’s a list of fake news sites in the Philippines and in the world. Based on this list, there are more fake news sites in the Philippines than there are in the whole world.