New Chrome Extension Does What Facebook Fails to Do



/ 2 years ago

bs-detector

Facebook has been in the news quite a bit lately in regards to fake news stories after they fired all their employees handling that and going back to an automated model – a model that continuously fails. A new Chrome extension has been born out of that and it deals with questionable sources in the right way by just flagging them rather than hiding them. This way, it’s still up to the user whether they want to click and read it while they’re warned about the source at the same time.

The new plugin is called the B.S Detector and it was released yesterday with the intent to identify and flag fake news on Facebook – and it does so in a very simple way. As you scroll down your Facebook feed, the plugin will put an overlay over questionable posts and thus allowing you to make up your mind before you click it. Hopefully, it will also prevent people who aren’t as good as doing research from sharing it and thus prevent fake news from being shared too much in the first place.

The creator of the extension, Daniel Sieradski, simply compiled a list of well-known hoax sites that the extension flags which is a lot smarter than developing an algorithm to warn users about individual articles. He said the sites run across the political spectrum and users can also submit requests to modify those settings on Github.

For now, this is a proof of concept and nothing more, but the author is considering to make it more available and add a feature to directly affect the list for people, allowing them to whitelist or blacklist sites on their own. At the same time, the author also took the opportunity to hit a blow on Marc Zuckerberg and his social network for failing to do the same, calling it a lack of spine to do what is necessary.

“I built this in about an hour yesterday after reading [Mark Zuckerberg’s] BS about not being able to flag fake news sites. Of course you can. It just takes having a spine to call out nonsense,” Sieradski wrote. “This is just a proof of concept at this point, but it works well enough.”

On Monday, Gizmodo reported that Facebook had considered implementing tools that would fight hoaxes on its network, but abandoned the project over a fear of appearing politically biased. Facebook denied that claim. Either way, the new tool could be very useful and it can be found here.

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Comments

8 Responses to “New Chrome Extension Does What Facebook Fails to Do”
  1. Philip Mather says:

    Info wars questionable source?

    One of the only sites on the internet that claimed Trump was going to win “questionable” good screenshot, shows that this B.S detector is B.S…
    It IS hard to flag BS posts, mainly because most of the BS posts on facebook are paid for by wealthy private interests

    • Shovinus says:

      What you dont know is any news source it just flags as questionable, because lets all be honest, they are all questionable.

    • LucaLCG says:

      Thank you Philip for telling the truth.

    • slipthemonkey says:

      Just because the site predicted something correct does not mean the source is not questionable. Questionable sources can still relay facts, but you might want to look for some corroboration from alternative sources first before accepting them as fact.

      • Philip Mather says:

        The problem with this sort of app though is you can’t be sure it’s blocking any BS stuff at all. Maybe blocking the truth and only showing you the paid for BS.
        There are multiple ethics issues you need to take into account before publishing something like this.

        • Trooper says:

          I see what you mean, it is entirely possible that this extension could be a tool to flag any news site that is not part of the Mainstream Media. Well I will give it a go and see how it reacts to a few of the pages I read on FB and if it does class them as BS I will know for sure this is nothing but a propaganda tool designed to discredit those who do not follow the MSM rules.

        • slipthemonkey says:

          The extension doesn’t block anything though, just flags them as questionable and you can still click through to read them if you wish. Plus the article also says that in the future the author may implement a feature that lets individuals whitelist sites, meaning they wouldn’t be flagged if you didn’t want.

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