Facebook Targets Misinformation Through Analysis of Images and Video
Efforts to combat the spread of fake news, misinformation or otherwise false and misleading content online is rapidly becoming a top priority for many social media platforms. Facebook recently announced further efforts to reign in the proliferation of false information by fact-checking images and video, rather than just text. Through collaboration with third party, independent fact checkers and sophisticated artificial intelligence models, Facebook hopes to rapidly identify inaccurate content and, similar to techniques designed to combat malware, quickly quarantine and remove it before it can spread to other users online.
Flag Misleading Content for Additional Scrutiny
Have you ever encountered an article, advertisement or other form of content online which caused you to pause and consider its veracity? If so, Facebook relies, in part, on your feedback to help flag potentially misleading, false content for further examination. Users can easily help identify misinformation by opting to report the content. Once reported, this information is forwarded to independent sources to apply advanced verification techniques. Misinformation, once recognized, is often categorized into subsets including:
- Fabricated or manipulated data
- Data used out of context
- False claims and more
Advanced Fact-Checking Techniques Now Focus on Images and Videos
To date, a majority of the verification focus in social media circles heavily targeted written content in articles. Inaccurate, highly biased, inflammatory, derogatory or outright false data weaves its way into online content each day from entities hoping to influence elections, conduct psychological influence campaigns, or even, in the case of advertising, spread negative reviews or inaccurate information about products and services. Facebook’s expanded fact-checking efforts now encompass images and video, and provide a more holistic approach to combating false data online.
Much like written content though, Facebook relies on user engagement to flag misleading photos or videos for further examination. Third-party fact checkers then utilize advanced verification techniques including:
- Reverse image searching
- Analysis of image metadata (including date, time and location a photo was taken)
- Optical character recognition
- Independent research from academic circles and government agencies, and more
As Facebook collects additional data from fact checkers and other verification sources, they hope to incorporate it into increasingly complex artificial intelligence designs and machine learning models to improve the accuracy of content online.
Data Verification and Implications for Marketing and SEO Strategies
Facebook’s desire to improve the fidelity of data online runs parallel to Google’s efforts to enhance user experiences online through improved search results ratings for websites ranking high in expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. Businesses hoping to capitalize on these initiatives should consider the benefits of:
- Building and ethically maintaining a reputation focused on value, honesty and integrity.
- Crafting a dynamic social media presence across multiple platforms with a consistent and authoritative brand voice.
- Creating original, authoritative, high-quality written content, infographics and other images which cite verified sources.