Social media companies must do more to fight fake news, said DNC top software engineer Raffi Krikorian. There were significantly more fake news accounts in the midterms than in the 2016 presidential election, and it’s only going to get worse. Social media must develop algorithms that can detect fake accounts. Until those are functional, they need more people to monitor and audit content online, he said. And computer scientists must work with Congress to introduce regulation around fake news.
- Do social media companies need to step up in the fight against disinformation?
According to the top software engineer of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the number of “fake news” accounts was significantly higher in this year’s mid-term elections than in the 2016 presidential election.
In an interview with CNBC at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon, Portugal on Thursday, DNC Chief Technology Officer Raffi Krikorian said his team was in “constant communication” with social media companies during Tuesday’s elections to report fake accounts. He said misinformation campaigns are growing in size and sophistication. The DNC is the formal governing body for the U.S. Democratic Party.
“Our concern is honestly that it will only get worse over time unless the platform companies find out how to control it,” Krikorian told Karen Tso from CNBC.
False news is a term used to describe the modern phenomenon of deliberate falsehoods or fiction masked as Internet news.
Krikorian, a computer scientist who previously held senior positions at Uber and Twitter, acknowledged social media companies like Facebook are taking steps to increase transparency. But he said their business models, driven by revenue and engagement, do not incentivize solutions for fighting fake news, and the problem wouldn’t fix itself by the next U.S. presidential election.