A New York Times article asks readers to spot deceiving Facebook accounts based on posts. In the example below, which is from a fake page?
If you guessed the one on the right, you are correct. The best indicator, according to the article, is the poor word choice and grammar at the top of the post: "live" should be "leave," and "End of the story" is atypical English and should read "End of story." Particularly to identify Russian posts, look for missing or misused articles (a, an, the).
But some posters are getting more clever. In the example at right, we see that text is lifted from another source, so the writing style and grammar sound like native English.
I just re-read 2017 Facebook guidelines about spotting fake news. Interestingly, the advice doesn't include looking carefully at grammar, proofreading, and punctuation.
- In a way, aren't we giving into our biases if we assume that posts with poor grammar are from international sources that lack credibility? How do you reconcile this approach to spotting fake news?
- How confident are you in spotting posts from credible sources? Under what circumstances have you been fooled in the past?