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Facebook might finally be making progress against fake news—but Twitter needs to do more

September 17, 2018

Since the 2016 election, less reputable sites have been getting less interaction on Facebook—while on Twitter they are getting more.

By the numbers: A working paper released on Friday revealed a significant drop-off in the engagements 570 fake news sites received on Facebook since 2016. At its peak, there were 200 million monthly engagements with the sites. As of July 2018, that’s dropped to 70 million. Twitter, meanwhile, saw engagements stay in the range of four to six million a month from 2016 to 2018.

The fight for truth: Since the last presidential election, Facebook has deployed more technological and human power to suppress fake news, hiring more content moderators, acquiring new companies, and deploying more AI software.

Why it matters: More overall “shares” happen on Facebook than Twitter, so it’s still the larger spreader of fake news. But this study hints that some of Facebook’s efforts are, at least for now, moving the platform in the right direction.

This article first appeared in our daily tech newsletter, The Download. Sign up here.

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