The fight against fake news is still the big and important one for the big social networks. Facebook has now integrated a change in the App Messenger to ensure that fake news cannot spread so quickly. However, this change has been integrated into the popular Messenger WhatsApp for more than 1.5 years.
So Facebook prevents the distribution of fake news
Facebook, like almost all social media, has the ability to write messages, share other messages or comment among other messages. Unlike Instagram, for example, Facebook News has its own app. This app can be downloaded free of charge for both Android and iOS from the respective App Store. Accordingly, the App Messenger is only to be used for communication among Facebook members, since no pictures etc. can be published in the own status.
In order to prevent or limit the distribution of fake news, the company Facebook has decided that messages received in the App Messenger can now only be forwarded to a maximum of 5 people. This restriction also applies to forwarding in groups, i.e. a message can only be forwarded to a maximum of 5 groups.
Fake news live from the fact that they are seen and shared by as many people as possible, so that as much “wind” as possible is created around these news. If people get fake news from several different people it is likely that these news will be believed and they will be spread further.
In the past, in order to successfully spread fake news, these news have been distributed in all social media. It was not about letting specific people get this news, but to as many people as possible.
Facebook has now restricted this distribution to as many people as possible with the change in Messenger.
WhatsApp has had Limit since the beginning of 2019
Already since January 2019, the Facebook subsidiary WhatsApp has set an example with exactly the same limit to prevent fake news. As the social media expert told press release, this is a long overdue step on the part of Facebook.
Facebook often tests such major changes on other platforms first before implementing this change on the main page. Due to the upcoming U.S. presidential election and the recurring fake news regarding corona, Facebook came under increasing pressure. A total of around 7 million postings were deleted, including one posting by the current US President Donald Trump.