Tags: explosion | bangkok | fake news | facebook | safety check

'Explosion in Bangkok' Fake News Spread by Facebook Safety Check

'Explosion in Bangkok' Fake News Spread by Facebook Safety Check

(Screengrab of Facebook post)

By    |   Thursday, 29 December 2016 08:45 AM

A fake news story about an explosion in Bangkok on Wednesday had help spreading after Facebook reportedly activated a "safety check" linked to a false report on a 2015 bombing. 

Critics charged it was another example of Facebook's algorithms not being able to tell reliable news stories from made-up stories, reported The Guardian. The social media company defended using the tool.

The fake story spread online after the Bangkok Post reported a man had thrown some firecrackers from the roof of a government building. The fake story trended as "Explosion in Bangkok" on at least one major Internet search site.

Facebook's safety check, which allows users to mark themselves safe in the event of a disaster or crisis, was activated, pointing to "media sources" as confirmation of an explosion in Bangkok, said The Guardian.

A Bangkok journalist, Saksith Saiyasombut, said Facebook cited an article on "BangkokInformer.com" in connection with the safety check, which linked back to a 2015 bombing at the Erawan Shrine, noted The Guardian.

Saiyasombut called out Facebook on Twitter for using a questionable source to trigger the safety check.

 

 

Facebook defended using the safety check in a statement, said The Verge.

"Safety Check was activated today in Thailand following an explosion. As with all Safety Check activations, Facebook relies on a trusted third party to first confirm the incident and then on the community to use the tool and share with friends and family."

Facebook announced earlier this month it was working on labeling fake news stories with the help of media organizations like Snopes.com and ABC News, which are part of a fact-checking team led by the Poynter Institute, a nonprofit journalism training school in Florida, according to Business Insider.

That came after the social media site was criticized for stories on its newsfeed that were fake news articles.

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A fake news story about an explosion in Bangkok on Wednesday had help spreading after Facebook reportedly activated a "safety check" linked to a false report on a 2015 bombing.
explosion, bangkok, fake news, facebook, safety check
331
2016-45-29
Thursday, 29 December 2016 08:45 AM
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