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Facebook bids goodbye to sarcasm, to label posts from satire pages

As more digital news outlets start to lean towards clickbait-y headlines, users often mistake similar posts from satire webstes, and mistakenly believe them to be true.

FILE PHOTO: The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Illustration//File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Illustration//File Photo (REUTERS)

Misinformation spreading online is one of the downsides of modern social media networks and the same is true for companies like Facebook and Twitter. This is because not every user is adept at identifying fake news or satire online. Twitter started labelling tweets with manipulated content globally last year and enabled designations on public officials profiles. Now Facebook has announced it will add “public official,” “fan page,” and “satire page” labels to posts. Starting with the US.

It is likely that the social networking giant is moving to mark posts from pages that regularly post satire content — because people are finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between real news and satire. As more digital news outlets start to lean towards clickbait-y headlines, users often mistake similar posts from websites like The Onion and believe what is clearly satire to be true.

The only problem with these very informative labels is that they are extremely small, very inconspicuous and located in small text under the account’s name on the news feed. Given how profile names are marked in bold, it is easy to imagine the smaller, lighter font under the name would simply get ignored.

Also read: Facebook launches Clubhouse-like Q&A platform ‘Hotline’

Meanwhile, Facebook has no plans to inform over 530 million users whose details were leaked until September 2019. A Facebook spokesperson reportedly told Reuters that the company “was not confident” that it had “full visibility” on which users would need to be notified. The company has also not offered much in the way of an apology, instead, it has explained that the data was leaked due to ‘scraping’ of user information from the site – and not due to a breach.

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