Maybe lying is a fad.
Like bell bottoms and platform shoes. Maybe at some point people will wake up and finally think, “This is not a good look.”
Until that time comes, if it does, there are some things that each Facebook user can do to spot Lies, Falsehoods and Half Truths.
Investigate a post before sharing it. Do a relatively painless Google search. If the information can’t be verified use your judgement. Often it is opinion, conjecture, fresh, or false.
Facebook is a fun platform. Many use it to keep up with friends all around the globe.
In my recent experiences with Facebook, a steady stream of likes have been propagating a couple of my organization pages to which I administer. These likes are coming from recently created fake Facebook accounts. These accounts are being created by robots.
There have been 35 new likes this month (January 2020) on one page in particular that previously had garnered less than 5 a year for 10 years. The page in question is devoted to a local youth sports community. I have submitted my concerns to Facebook. I identified the accounts that are fake and received confirmation that these accounts do not meet Facebook’s “community standards” (fake) and that they have been removed. All of these accounts had the same MO.
However, unless I was able to identify these perpetrators they would have been allowed to pierce the circle of our community. With a community already available, the fake accounts would have been used to spread the troll farm’s choice of potential discourse by using robots to deliver their campaign.
The entrance of these trolls of enmity and hostility, both rouge and organized, are admitted by the engineers at Facebook for one simple reason, monetary gain. Ad revenue in 2016 increased 57% thanks in part to political advertising.
These purveyors of discord sow Lies, Falsehoods and Half Truths with the hope that members of the platform that might feel some connection to the subject matter will share it and allow it to infiltrate your circle and create distrust and animosity.
Blocking and eliminating the Lies, Falsehoods and Half Truths
On Facebook there is something you can do.
Of course you can block people from your feed. However, if it is a friend you might want to politely let them know that the post they just shared is not steeped in fact.
Meanwhile, please do yourself and your fellow Facebook friends a service. When you see something that is questionable to you, do an investigation. If your investigation proves it false or your instincts compel you, follow the instruction below:
1. Click the 3 dots in the upper right corner of the post
2. Click Hide Post
3. Click Find support or report post
4. Click It’s a false news story
5. Click Continue – bottom of window
6. Click Mark this post as false news
7. Click Done – bottom of window
It will put an internal Red Flag on the post and the folks at Facebook will review it.
You might not think that you have the time to do this (it takes less than 10 seconds) but you will be helping to transform an ostensibly fun platform back to what it once was.
In 2020 I plan to share “The good look”. I hope that you join me.