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How nice people get corrupted in Facebook?



Mark Zuckerburg said that Facebook doesn’t have a fake news problem and, that even if it did, fake news didn’t influence the outcome of this year’s presidential election. I respectfully disagree with him. Here is why.
We gather tidbits and knowledge about everyday life through social interactions with other people. This behavior is a nod to the human condition and need to talk with others as a means of making sense of our world and our place within it. In short, people don’t construct reality by themselves.
So where do people go to have these conversations? For the most parts, these conversations happen on social media. Americans spend an alarming amount of time checking social media on their phones. People in the U.S. check their Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts a 17 times a day. That means that at least once every hour that a person is awake, they’re scanning their newsfeeds and interacting with others on social media. As a result, people learn a lot (whether consciously or subconsciously) from shared articles, images, and trending news that appear on their social feeds.
That being said, if people are exposed to more fake news stories than real ones, they are more apt to be influenced by the fake stories because that’s what is “trending.” That is the power of conformity. People will change their behavior and beliefs just to align with others. 
We just have to look at the Asch Conformity Experiment as evidence of how willingly individuals conform to popular opinion. The results of the study demonstrates that people are more inclined to go along with a majority opinion even though they don't agree with it. People do this simply to avoid being ridiculed or considered "peculiar." Think of it as choosing the path of least resistance.

According to BuzzFeed, during the last three months of the presidential campaign, the 20 top fake news stories on Facebook generated more engagements — shares, likes, and comments — than the 20 top stories from real news websites. 
In summary, Facebook can be a force for good or evil. Facebook has the power to change governments, as seen in Egypt, Tunisia, and Ukraine. But it can also threaten democratic institutions. As a society, we continuously communicate with one another on social media in order to stay aware of moments in culture and everyday life. But, if the news that we see and share is fake, so to is our conversations. In turn, our social reality becomes a mirage of truth and a center for fake truths. Google and Facebook have a plan, however, to keep this from happening in the future. And for that tenacious plan, I applaud them. 

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