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Page Ranking and its Effect on Fake News

The 2016 presidential election seemed to be the genesis of the phrase ‘Fake News’; however, sites that actively try to perpetuate fallacies have been a problem for years. In order to contain this false information, organizations like Facebook and Google have created algorithms that rank these pages lower so that the actual information gets ranked higher. Soumik Ghosh from CIO has stated that “Human intervention is, of course, more reliable than algorithms. This is because algorithms can be manipulated or influenced by trolls and lack judgment when it comes to complex editorial decisions”, this raises questions about search algorithms and their ability or lack thereof to stop ‘Fake News’ from spreading. Ghosh believes that algorithms can only go so far in terms of page rank and that human is a necessary medium in the fight against fake news.

The page ranking algorithms created by tech giants are not full proof at limiting the perpetuation of fake news. These sites are usually treated like normal sites, their links and/or edges are not always highlighted and/or recognized as non-reliable. Queries by users are essential to the fight against fake news. The authority scores need input from users or the recycled page ranking algorithms will not be able to attribute the correct scores to these malicious sites even after several rounds of the algorithms circulating and updating the scores. In the noted article, the fake news is being given too high of an authority score. Ghosh’s notion that the algorithms are insufficient does have warranted merit.

Source:
http://www.cio.in/feature/can-algorithms-really-tackle-fake-news-fiasco

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