Facebook plans customizable filters for nudity and violence

Facebook wants to give you the power to define what is and isn’t objectionable, and influence the local defaults of those who don’t choose voluntarily. You’ll eventually be able to select how much nudity, violence, graphic content and profanity you’re comfortable seeing.

Mark Zuckerberg revealed this massive shift in Facebook’s Community Standards policy today in his 5,000-word humanitarian manifesto, which you can read our highlights and analysis of here.

Currently, Facebook relies on a one-size-fits-most set of standards about what’s allowed on the network. The only exception is that it abides by local censorship laws. But that’s led to trouble for Facebook, as newsworthy historical photos including nudity and citizen journalism accounts of police violence have been wrongly removed, then restored after media backlash or executive review.

Zuckerberg explains the forthcoming policy, writing:

“The idea is to give everyone in the community options for how they would like to set the content policy for themselves. Where is your line on nudity? On violence? On graphic content? On profanity? What you decide will be your personal settings. We will periodically ask you these questions to increase participation and so you don’t need to dig around to find them. For those who don’t make a decision, the default will be whatever the majority of people in your region selected, like a referendum. Of course you will always be free to update your personal settings anytime.

With a broader range of controls, content will only be taken down if it is more objectionable than the most permissive options allow.”

This approach allows Facebook to give vocal, engaged users choice, while establishing reasonable localized norms, without ever forcing specific policies on anyone or requiring all users to configure complicated settings.

To classify potentially objectionable content Facebook will lean more heavily on artificial intelligence, which is already delivering 30 percent of all content flags to its human reviewers. Over time, Zuckerberg hopes Facebook’s AI will learn to make nuanced distinctions, such as between terrorist propaganda and a news report about a terrorist attack.

There are still plenty of questions about how this system will work. For example, what happens to teens? Do they get strict defaults or the same control, and do parents have license to select their kids’ settings? And we don’t know when this will launch, though Zuckerberg implied it would all take time.

This new system of governance could make Facebook’s policies feel less overt, as they should align with local norms. It might also be a boon to certain content creators, such as photographers or painters who make nude art, videographers who capture action or war or unfiltered pundits with niche views.

Personalized and localized site governance might prove more democratic than treating Facebook as one giant country. Its 2012 experiment with allowing people to vote on policies failed and was scrapped because it required 30 percent of a users to vote on long, complicated documents of changes for their majority decision to be binding. The final vote would have needed 300 million votes to be binding, but received just 619,000. Now users who don’t “vote” on their settings receive the local defaults, “like a referendum” in a U.S. state.

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Zuckerberg also outlined several other product development plans. Facebook hopes to add more suggestions for local Groups to tie users deeper into their communities. Facebook will also give Group leaders more tools, akin to what Facebook provides Page owners. Zuckerberg didn’t provide specifics, but those features might include analytics about what content is engaging, the ability to set more types of admins and moderators or the option to add outside app functionality.

As far as safety and information, Facebook wants to expand AI detection of bullying or self-harm, and potentially allow people to report mental health issues, disease or crime. And to fight polarization and sensationalism, not just objectively fake news, it wants to present users with a range of sources across the political spectrum about a given topic. That could potentially come through showing Related Articles on links that draw on sources from other parts of the spectrum.

The central theme of these changes is Facebook empowering users to define their own experience. It wants to see the world move toward a supportive, safe, informed, civically engaged and inclusive global community. But it still sees itself as just a tool, with the direction of progress defined by those who wield it.

Facebook’s new job opening posts poach business from LinkedIn

LinkedIn has neglected two big opportunities Facebook is now capitalizing on: helping lower-skilled workers and people who aren’t actively looking for a job. Today Facebook is rolling out a slew of new Jobs features we spotted it testing last year. They could hurt LinkedIn’s growth prospects and divert recruiting ad dollars.

Business Pages will now be able to post job openings to the News Feed through the status update composer, and host them on a Jobs tab on their Page. When users see these, they can hit an “Apply Now” button to instantly send an application through Facebook Messenger. Facebook will pre-fill the user’s name and profile picture to speed up the process. These features are now becoming available to all U.S. and Canada business Pages.

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Facebook also could start earning revenue from the feature, as businesses can pay to turn these posts into ads so they reach more people in the feed. Businesses could also get some viral help as users re-share openings to their friends, or tag people that they know are looking for a job.

Facebook’s VP of Ads and Business Platform Andrew “Boz” Bosworth tells me the company wanted to see “How can we make Facebook more useful in your everyday life?” They found small businesses were having trouble hiring, and most people are open to a better, higher-paying job, even if they’re satisfied with their current employment.

That’s where LinkedIn has fallen short. It’s become a destination for purposeful job seekers looking for medium- and high-skilled roles.

But for people seeking part-time or hourly jobs, LinkedIn’s focus on your resume and education might have made them hesitant to sign up, and it’s not designed for applying to lots of jobs en masse. And unless you’re unemployed or actively seeking a new job, you might not have a reason to visit LinkedIn.

Yet these people and the businesses looking to hire them are on Facebook every day. A News Feed post or ad can reach a job candidate who didn’t even know they were interested in switching companies. And the “Apply Now” button makes sending your application through Facebook a quick and seamless part of your socializing experience.

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There is one problem: Some job applicants are skittish about employers doing background checks on their social media profiles. Applying directly through Facebook might make that even easier for a company.

But Boz says research has shown “overwhelming enthusiasm” for the product. While social background checks may scare high-skilled workers applying for competitive jobs at elite companies, he says “causal job seekers … they’re just looking for every opportunity they can get.”

Eventually Facebook says it will consider doing more relevancy sorting of Jobs posts and the tab to show people roles that match their education level or work experience. There are also opportunities in recruiting if Facebook allowed a company’s existing employees or viewers of these posts to see which of their friends might be a good fit for an opening. If the Messenger channel becomes popular for receiving applications, it may also need tools to help those hiring manage all their inbound interest.

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For now, though, Facebook’s opportunity is showing jobs to people (the now Microsoft-owned) LinkedIn forgot. “Two-thirds of job seekers are already employed,” says Boz. “They’re not spending their days and nights out there canvassing for jobs. They’re open to a job if a job comes.”

While LinkedIn might be the leader in the employment social network space, its 467 million user count is dwarfed by Facebook’s 1.86 billion. And Facebook’s users come back every day for a variety of reasons, giving them a chance to serendipitously hear about and apply for a dream job they didn’t know they wanted.

7 reasons why Facebook will autoplay sound despite complaints

If you’re freaking out about Facebook starting to autoplay videos with sound by default, at least it won’t pause or play on top of music you’re already listening to through apps like Spotify. Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch today that sound will not autoplay on Facebook videos if you’re already listening to something on your device. You’ll have to tap the sound icon to toggle audio on or tap to make the video full-screen, both of which will pause your other music app.

Some users are sure to be annoyed by the change to autoplaying audio in the News Feed that Facebook announced yesterday. It could lead them to inadvertently blast sound from their phones while in public. That might lead to embarrassing situations, with users getting caught trying to browse Facebook on the sly during work, class, dinner or a conversation. Luckily, those who hate it can turn off autoplay sound in their Facebook settings.

But there are a number of reasons why Facebook would want to do this, surrounding a central theme: Video is the future of Facebook, and it will clear any obstacles to making this content more watchable.

  1. One simple switch – Facebook is essentially deferring audio control to your device’s physical mute switch, which in some ways makes audio less confusing than having to properly configure both the switch and the toggle on each video. Somewhere you can’t be loud? Keep your whole phone on vibrate.
  2. Testers liked it – Facebook said initial tests received positive feedback. It wouldn’t be worth defaulting audio on if it decreased usage of the app, so the change might sound worse than the actual experience.
  3. Snapchat’s doing it – Facebook’s biggest competitor, Snapchat, already leaves sound on by default, which has made it a favorite place both for people to watch videos and businesses to buy video ads.
  4. Video advertisers – Speaking of which, audio is critical to driving an emotional reaction to an advertisement. Snap says more than 60 percent of its video ads are watched with the sound on already. Video ads are emerging as one of Facebook’s biggest money-makers, and as it maxes out ad load this year and doesn’t have space to cram in more, it needs to make each video ad more memorable.
  5. Reduce need for subtitles – Professional publishers now often slap flashy, stylized subtitles on all their Facebook videos to make them understandable with the sound off. That can both be distracting from the visuals, but also isn’t something normal people can do to their clips. User-generated video thereby becomes a second-class citizen, conflicting with Facebook’s goal to put “friends and family first.”
  6. Potential for video soundtracks – Facebook is pushing harder in negotiations with record labels to strike a licensing deal to allow users to include copyrighted music as the soundtracks to their videos. This would prevent annoying copyright infringement take-downs, and make boring stick-your-phone-out-and-pan clips more like epic music videos.
  7. Adapting to wireless earbuds – Apple’s AirPods are great, and wireless earbuds you can leave in throughout the day will continue to rise in popularity. That will allow more people to watch Facebook videos with the sound on, even in public.

Will some users get pissed off? Sure. But Facebook is making a calculated bet that these benefits outweigh the complaints of a vocal minority. Remember, people protested the News Feed’s launch before it became Facebook’s most popular product.

mClinica raises $6.3M to map healthcare data in Southeast Asia

Health startups are pulling in money in Southeast Asia. A week after wellness-focused insurance brokerage CXA drew $25 million from investors, fellow Singapore-based startup mClinica has announced a $6.3 million Series A raise.

mClinica was founded in 2012 and its mission is to provide healthcare data in Southeast Asia, much like Nielsen and other traditional analyst houses, through an alliance with pharmaceutical stores on the ground.

Founder and CEO Farouk Meralli explained in an interview that the region’s currently lacks data because it is dominated by small ‘mom and pop’ style stores. That, he said, leaves pharma companies wanting to know more about their business, supply chain and the competitive landscape, while governments and NGOs are deprived of important data that can shape policy or detect outbreaks.

“In U.S. or UK, the consumer healthcare space is dominated by chains like Walgreens or Boots, but here it is thousands of independent pharmacies, it’s crazy,” Meralli told TechCrunch, explaining that this severely inhibits market understanding.

Mobile devices and the internet present an opportunity to change things. Meralli is aiming to make a difference by helping track how medicines are being used in Southeast Asia with more clarity than ever. Today, the mClinica service is present in three countries — the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam — where it offers a platform for local pharmacies to help them make sense of their business. In that respect, it feels a lot like blend between Practo, the Indian startup that connects doctors with patients and is backed by Tencent, and shopping loyalty service Snapcart in Indonesia.

First and foremost, mClinica tracks what medicines are being prescribed, dispensed and bought in small stories, which Meralli said account for 97 percent of all pharmacies in Indonesia, for example. The company’s app is for pharmacy stores, not consumers, and it provides them with a loyalty/discount program for customers, news from the industry and other tools to manage their business.

There’s no consumer app, customers simply provide their mobile number once (to register) and again at the counter for future purchases to claim loyalty points and discounts. Details are collected by the pharmacy and the system means that it doesn’t matter which store a customer shops at, so long as it is on the mClinica platform, they get their discount and the data is captured, too. (Meralli said data is “desensitized” appropriately to protect individuals privacy.)

By providing incentives and an easy way to authenticate customers, mClinica has a pretty efficient data capture system that’s built for a region where hundreds of millions remain offline and unbanked, despite smartphone sales growing on at a higher-than-global rate.

The data is then used to compile reports that can be sold to pharma companies wanting to learn the lay of the land in Southeast Asia, or provided to public sector players like governments and NGOs.

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A photo of a pharmacist in Vietnam using mClinica taken by mClinica COO Vasil Rusinov

On the business side of things, Meralli is fairly coy with numbers at this point. He didn’t say how many users it has authenticated, instead stating that his firm has a “potential reach” of 70 million patients through the more than 5,000 pharmacies it works with. Scale is the key to accurate and informative data and reports. The company plans to use its new funds to grow its reach using offline methods — advertising and feet on the street sales — alongside digital means such as Facebook to reach pharmacies.

Even at this point, though, some data is better than relative guesswork. That’s very much the sales pitch for expansion. Meralli said he is aiming to expand to cover Malaysia and Thailand before the end of the year, while Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar are also on the radar.

“We can make a massive leap forward [and create] a national infrastructure in just a few months,” he said.

That’s the idea to encourage governments to get on board, plus, he added, mClinica “tends to give a lot of this data for free” to public sector organizations to help shape policy and paint a picture of the here and now of a nation’s health. Many emerging markets right now rely on censor data which can be patchy and up to seven years old in some cases.

“Currently, we lose visibility though the entire supply chain, so we’re going to the last mile and filling in that data gap,” Meralli added.

Initially, the idea was conceived for massive markets like Brazil and India, but the Philippines was selected for an initial pilot following a request from a prospective customer. Meralli said his team is heads-down focused on Southeast Asia right now, but he did concede that there is interest from other parties keen to explore expansion to other parts of the world. He didn’t indicate whether the company would pursue this in 2017.

mClinica certainly has a global feel to the investor side of its business. This new round was led by Unitus Impact in Silicon Valley with participation from London-based Global Innovation Fund, Indonesia’s MDI Ventures and Endeavor. Previous investors 500 Startups, IMJ Investment Partners and Kickstart Ventures — which raised a 2014 seed round for the startup — also took part.

Featured Image: ironstealth/Getty Images

Facebook is still figuring out how to tackle fake news

Facebook realizes that “fake news” is a problem, but is still a long way from figuring out how to solve it. At CODE Media today, Facebook VP of partnerships Dan Rose said combatting fake news is “something that’s really important to us,” but acknowledged that the company is “just getting started” and “there’s a lot of work we can do.”

In a world where people’s perceptions of reality are being shaped largely by what appears in their social feeds, some people have argued that companies like Facebook have a responsibility to ensure they’re not being fed a steady diet of “fake news.”

Facebook is moving trying to reduce the impact of sensational or misleading content showing up in users’ news feeds. Part of that is a reaction to the election of Donald Trump following the viral spread of fake election news via Facebook, which is basically the digital equivalent of shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted.

But part of it is by necessity, as other nations are pressuring Facebook to clamp down on the spread of news that could be disruptive to their own elections.

In Germany, which is facing a nationwide election this year, lawmakers proposed a rule that would levy a 500,000 euro fine for each piece of fake news it fails to take down within 24 hours. No surprise, then, that Germany was one of the first places where Facebook rolled out new tools to combat misleading articles being shared.

Rose highlighted the steps the company has already taken to alleviate the problem, which include its effort to work with third-party fact checkers to identify misleading headlines and untrue stories. It’s also providing better tools to allow users to flag content in their feeds, and sending those stories to third-party fact checkers.

Part of Facebook’s reluctance to censoring what people shares on their feeds might come from a philosophical standpoint of whether the company is, in fact, a media company. On that point, Rose demurred, saying that Facebook is a “new type of platform… where people discover a lot of media content.”

Crunch Report | Facebook Builds a Censorship Tool

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Facebook is unlikely to succeed in China, even if it compromises on free speech

Facebook may have laid some of the early groundwork to launch its social network in China, but the U.S. company’s chances of making a dent in the world’s most populous country remain remote.

A New York Times report that Facebook is developing a system that could censor information to appease the Chinese government is the talk of the tech industry right. The timing couldn’t be worse: domestically, Facebook is under pressure for failing to adequately manage the influence of fake news on the U.S. election, yet here it is seemingly prepared to quash legitimate information on user timelines to kowtow to the Chinese government and further its interests in a country of 1.3 billion people.

Facebook’s China conundrum hasn’t changed much since its IPO in 2012, when it admitted it may not ever find a way into the country.

Recently, however, CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly justified the development of censorship software, telling staff that “it’s better for Facebook to be a part of enabling conversation, even if it’s not yet the full conversation.” That triggered a number of departures, according to the New York Times, but the truth about China is that it would take a huge effort from Facebook to be relevant to the general conversation in the first place.

Even if Zuckerberg — who has made little effort to hide his interest in doing business in China — sold out and agreed to censorship in exchange for being unblocked, Facebook has a major challenge in finding a place to sit within the nation’s already-developed social media ecosystem.

Sticking to its roots won’t cut it because Facebook-style social networking has already failed in China.

Renren, the company widely labeled as ‘China’s Facebook,’ has long since pivoted. Initial promise saw Renren attract investment from SoftBank in its early days, and before its U.S. IPO in April 2011, the company claimed 160 million users.

That NYSE listing raised $743 million, but the share price has fallen from a first-day close of $18.01 to just $1.81 today. These days Renren’s service is barely used and the company is more notable for its investment deals, which include stakes in a mortgage lender and a delivery service. That investment business and its social video platform are being spun out of the company to give them room to breathe, such is the decline of the core service and ‘traditional’ social networks in China.

Renren and lesser rivals like Kaixin withered because they missed mobile, hugely popular messaging app WeChat didn’t and now it is king.

WeChat’s dominance has been clear for a long while — I wrote as much back in 2013 — and today it has 846 million monthly active users, the majority of whom are in China. It is also a critical part of parent firm Tencent’s mobile monetization strategy. More to the point, for Facebook, is that it occupies the space that Facebook is aiming for in China — and then some.

Messaging apps have taken a huge bite into social networks, no where more so than China where you frequently notice people out and about in public using WeChat groups, or holding their phone to their face to use the push-to-talk ‘walkie talkie’ feature to communicate.

But WeChat goes beyond messaging. It is the internet, and more.

It includes a Facebook-style timeline feed from friends — Moments — consumers can connect with branded accounts as they do with Facebook Pages, there’s a payment system, shopping, banking, appointments and now a new feature that enables developers to build their own apps for the messaging platform, thereby disintermediating official app stores.

WeChat is essentially the mobile portal for Chinese consumers, as A16z partner Connie Chan put it, while Twitter-like Weibo covers social with 297 million MAUs, so it is hard to see what new tricks Facebook can bring to the party

Then there’s the fact that, in China, your Western brand means very little.

Just ask Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who agreed to sell his company’s China business to rival Didi. Facebook’s global appeal is muted in China. Apple and the iPhone are thriving in China as exceptions to the norm, but Facebook doesn’t have that same brand gravitas.

The average person in China has no immediate need for Facebook. Sure, you can connect with people who are overseas but, at this point, people who would find Facebook useful to connect with friends or family overseas almost certainly already use it via a VPN. Facebook’s ad buying service estimates that the social network has an audience of around 2.1 million users in China, a tiny portion of the country’s reported 710 million internet users.

Zuckerberg’s burning desire for China seems to be the catalyst for the development of the censorship tool, which the Times report stressed may not ever be deployed, but Facebook should tread very carefully here. Compromising on free speech can only lose it friends in the West, and the chances of any kind of success in China are very slim, which by extension could negatively impact its stock price.

Sticking to its existing strategy of serving advertising customers in China that want to reach a global audience is a better bet but, even then, working with state-run publications — as Facebook does — throws up plenty of issues around media manipulation and fake news.

Featured Image: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Facebook built censorship tool to get into China despite human rights risks

Facebook wants to be unbanned in China, so it’s built a censorship tool that could hide posts about prohibited topics from people in China, according to The New York Times‘ Mike Isaac. Rather than censor posts itself, Facebook would potentially provide the tool to a third-party in China such as a local partner company that could use it to prevent users in China from seeing content that breaks the government’s rules.

While China could unlock huge amounts of users and ad revenue for Facebook, the censorship tool could also be used to enact human rights abuse. If China could track which local users are trying to protest or bad-mouth the government, they could face persecution.

Perhaps that’s why The New York Times says several Facebook staffers who worked on the product have left the company. So far, there are no signs that Facebook has offered the tool to Chinese authorities. We don’t have details on the specifics of how it would work. It’s apparently only one of several ideas Facebook has explored for getting access to China, and they might never be launched.

But the existence of the tool brings up strong concerns about what’s best and safest for Chinese citizens.

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Mark Zuckerberg has held in the past that some Facebook access could benefit them. The New York Times reports that at an internal Q&A about its intentions in China, Zuckerberg said, “It’s better for Facebook to be a part of enabling conversation, even if it’s not yet the full conversation.”

That mirrors Facebook’s stance about internet access, where it’s pushed the idea that limited free access to the web is better than none at all for those who can’t afford it. Facebook already allows Chinese companies to buy ads that run in places where it isn’t banned.

In a statement to TechCrunch, a Facebook spokesperson wrote: “We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country. However, we have not made any decision on our approach to China. Our focus right now is on helping Chinese businesses and developers expand to new markets outside China by using our ad platform.”

Over time, the interpersonal connection via Facebook could strengthen communities who might be able to organize and protest the government outside of the app. Yet the censorship tool’s potential to be used to round up dissidents looms over any long-term benefit for citizens, or profit for Facebook.

Facebook downsizes small business sales in Europe, reportedly 30 jobs affected in Germany

As Facebook’s advertising business continues to grow globally, the social network is also streamlining operations in certain markets. TechCrunch has learned that Facebook is consolidating sales operations in Europe focused on small and medium businesses. In the process has cut 30 jobs including in Hamburg, according to a source among those cut.

The cuts are of “support” staff that were contracted from a third party.

30 is a small proportion of Facebook’s overall employee count of 15,724 (as of the end of September). It’s notable for a company that has not made regular practice of laying people off.

It’s not clear what the subtext might be for this latest cut, if any.

“Facebook’s support to Small and Medium Businesses in Germany remains unchanged. To the contrary, over the past year, we have been ramping up our SMB efforts across Germany. This included founding the industry initiative ‘Digital Durchstarten‘, which will continue in 2017. The next event in Münster will be taking place tomorrow.”

From what we understand, the company’s SMB director in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Stefanos Loukakos, who is based out of Facebook’s global headquarters in Dublin, made the cuts to consolidate SMB operations across fewer locations.

Our source said that the Hamburg office covered Facebook’s SMB business, selling ads in Facebook and Instagram in German-speaking markets (Germany, Austria and Switzerland); as well as Turkey and Israel — regions that will now be covered from SMB sales offices in Dublin and Lisbon.

There will still be SMB activity in Hamburg and across Germany, where Facebook does some marketing outreach to SMBs in the form of online content and events.

Other small rounds of layoffs this year have pointed to bigger thematic changes at the company. They included around 40 people going in the wake of Facebook restructuring parts of its ad-tech business, specifically at LiveRail, which has since been shut down.

There were also reportedly around 15-18 contractors let go who had been working on Facebook’s Trending team, a group tasked with curating news for Facebook. News has been a problematic area for the social network for a while, but it’s come into the spotlight especially this year, as many have accused Facebook of being a haven for disseminating fake news. Facebook’s still trying to fix this.

Turning back to today’s news, in September, Facebook announced that it had hit 4 million advertisers on its platform, and while it does not break out specific numbers or the performance of specific regions, it’s been long understood that small and medium businesses form a large part of that base, both in the U.S. and internationally.

But over the years, there have been some tense moments between Facebook and SMBs, as Facebook has sought to build out more of its paid ad products over organic reach (that is, unpaid distribution) on the platform.

More generally, Facebook has been shuttering parts of its ad business that are seeing less activity. Just last week, it closed down the ad-serving part of its Atlas platform to focus on Atlas’s measurement tools.

In the German market, Facebook has not been a stranger to regulatory heat, specifically from the country’s data protection watchdog. In March, it became the subject of an antitrust privacy probe, and in September Germany was the first country in Europe to order Facebook to stop tapping into data from WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Facebook. (That’s now extended to all of Europe.)

Story updated with quote from Facebook and further detail about nature of cuts — contractors versus full-time staff. 

Featured Image: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Most students can’t tell fake news from real news, study shows

If you thought you heard the last on fake news, you were sadly mistaken.

A Stanford study found that the majority of middle school students can’t tell the difference between real news and fake news. In fact, 82 percent couldn’t distinguish between a real news story on a website and a “sponsored content” post.

Of the 8,704 students studied (ranging in age from middle school to college level), four in ten high-school students believed that the region near Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant was toxic after seeing an unsourced photo of deformed daisies coupled with a headline about the Japanese area. The photo, keep in mind, had no source or location attribution. Meanwhile, two out of every three middle-schoolers were fooled by an article on financial preparedness penned by a bank executive.

It seems that those surveyed in the study were judging validity of news on Twitter based on the amount of detail in the tweet and whether or not a large photo was attached, rather than focusing on the source of the tweet.

The WSJ, which first reported on the study, says that a big part of solving this problem among young people comes down to education, both at school and at home.

But with 62 percent of U.S. adults getting the majority of their news from social media, the responsibility for this issue also lies with the social media organizations themselves, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Both Google and Facebook have made steps toward thwarting the fake news onslaught, including banning fake news organizations from their ad network. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg also posted a number of responses to the issue on Facebook, and gave actual steps toward stopping the spread of fake news on the platform.

That said, the fallout from fake news is not as minor as Zuck originally stated in his first response on Facebook, where he mentioned that less than 1 percent of news on Facebook is fake.

Even in minuscule amounts, fake news has a much greater ability to spread quickly and be consumed by many given the nature of the salacious headlines themselves. Paired with the fact that most adults get their news from social media, and most young people can’t tell the difference, you can see just how problematic this issue is.

Hopefully, steps toward stopping fake news come swiftly and effectively. But until then, it’s important for parents to be diligent in teaching their kids how to determine the difference between a sourced news report and a salacious headline with no evidence behind it.

Featured Image: Nationaal Archief/J.D. Noske/Flickr