Misinformation in Facebook has become more rampant, especially since users have more time to spend on social media than ever before. 

Recently, France's Universite Grenoble Alpes and the New York University researchers released a peer-reviewed study about Facebook misinformation.

The researchers found out that fake news has six times more engagements compared to real news.

Increased Engagement Among Fake News in Facebook

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In this photo illustration, a person looks at a smart phone with a Facebook App logo displayed on the background, on August 17, 2021, in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP)

According to The Washington Post, the researchers spotted that fake news on Facebook has more engagements than factual news.

The scope of the study covered the period between August 2020 and January 2021.

Moreover, the researchers have peered on the pages of over 2,500 publications on the platform. Surprisingly, misinformation has often a bigger number when it comes to likes, comments, and shares.

What the team observed here was the growing engagement of misinformation brought by posts linked to politics. 

As per Laura Edelson, one of the researchers, the study will be imparted in line with the upcoming Internet Measurement Conference in the next two months.

According to a spokesperson from the social media giant, people only usually look at engagement when their focus should be the post's reach.

At the moment, the researchers could not collect available data for the number of reaches since the platform does not make it. Instead, the team only relies on CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned tool to quantify the misinformation in the social media space.

Facebook Cuts Off Access to Ad Library For Researchers

Last August, the social media platform concluded that it will stop the researchers from accessing the data library on Facebook.

At that time, it banned the researchers from New York University as well as others related to the Cybersecurity for Democracy project of the university.

The announcement was released after the accusation made by the US President Joe Biden to the platform. 

According to him, social media was responsible for the vaccine hesitancy of some people in the country since several COVID-19 misinformation have been scattered everywhere, especially on the massive platform.

In the same month, Facebook launched its transparency report about the platform's post with most engagements in Q2 2021.

A few days after the report was released, The New York Times revealed that there was an anomaly in the first-quarter report. 

Later, it was found out that from January to March, there was an article about the death of a doctor from Florida. According to the article, the coronavirus vaccine was the reason behind it.

It turned out that the right-leaning pages only published the news to spread misinformation about the vaccines, The Verge reported.

Read Also: Facebook is Going Against Individuals Who Spread Misinformation, Fake News in the News Feed

Misleading Coronavirus Tweets 

In July, the COVID-19 misinformation reached another platform: Twitter.

Majorie Taylor Greene, a known Republican representative was flagged for sharing deceptive tweets about coronavirus.

Twitter decided to suspend her account for 12 hours after that.

Related Article: Facebook Combats Misinformation, Removes 14 Million Deceptive COVID-19 Related Posts in 2020

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Written by Joseph Henry

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