For a few years now Facebook has a huge problem: disinformation. It all culminated with the Trump presidency I guess, fake news on Facebook reached new heights.
I'm not a Facebook fan. I have never been. I mostly use the Facebook Messanger to chat and keep in touch with the people I don't already have on WhatsApp. Otherwise, I rarely post (maybe once a year) and I rarely browser around.
Giving the fact that I work as an online marketer, I somehow feel obligated to have a Facebook account and use it once in a while.
I was recently browsing my Facebook feed, and I've noticed something strange, a lot of my friends and connections were sharing and commenting on fake news. And when I'm saying fake news I'm not referring to the "left" point of view or the "right" point of view or general arguments, no. I'm referring to straight out parody and pamphlet based websites that virtually have a disclaimer explaining how their content is fiction.
How is this possible? Is everyone this stupid or just my friends and connections?
I think not. Because I've looked at other profiles (friends of my friends) and I've found similar results. Spend a few hours today doing just that, going through people profiles and looking at what they are sharing/commenting on. A lot of them shared fake news and fake stories and got all worked out about things that weren't real.
I guess some people just don't research anything on their own and believe everything they find on Facebook. And because Facebook wants to keep you happy it will play along providing your with more similar content to enforce your ideas and believe everything you are reading is real.
All of this despite numerous claims and features coming from Facebook to combat fake news, by flagging and disputing content. So I guess they didn't found a way to fix this.
So what is the future of Facebook?
The way I see it, the future of Facebook is fake news. Eventually, people won't be able to tell anymore, not even the clever ones, leading to the inevitable abandon of the platform.
It already started to change. Facebook is not really a place for young people being themselves anymore. Facebook transformed into a public forum where everyone portrays a fake image of themselves while spreading fake news.
Millenials started migrating to Instagram and Generation Z is using Snapchat or something else.
I think people want simplicity and freedom. This is why Instagram's popularity is still growing; this is why more and more people are spending more time on Instagram and give far less attention to Facebook. It's comfy, simple to use and doesn't seem very "public" just yet.
But Instagram walks a very fine line in my opinion. It already started to implement more and more features; I hope they realize that one of the biggest mistakes of Facebook was bloating the platform with tons of useless settings and features.
2018 will be pretty decisive for Facebook and the other big social networks. Twitter seems to have survived and I can even say it thrives, it is simple to use and in essence remains a fast and effective way of delivering content/news from trusted sources.
What do you think about Facebook and all that misinformation floating over there? Have you noticed the same trend I did or do you have a smart circle of friends and are somehow isolated from all this madness?