Today, Facebook will provide information to UK lawmakers on how it plans to combat the spread of fake news.
The social media giant is expected to provide information on the suspension of fake accounts and outline its strategy for combatting bots. Facebook’s original plan was to split the News Feed in two, favouring content from friends and family over material from news sources, though this proved unpopular and was abandoned last year; it is unclear what strategy Facebook will use in the future.
With average monthly users being the primary barometer of Facebook’s popularity, which determines its revenue, the tech giant may be reluctant to simply delete the fake accounts—some 60 million of its users are suspected bots.
Regardless, with western governments increasingly concerned that bots are being used to undermine their democracies, Facebook will need to satisfy lawmakers by taking tangible action to combat the fake accounts. Otherwise, it could risk having its service subjected to federal regulation.
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Alex is a senior analyst in the Current Developments team with a primary focus on the Americas. He also serves as an editor on The Daily Brief.