Decision 2020: Social Media Companies Focus on Fighting Fake News 1

With Election Day looming, Silicon Valley social media companies are desperate to avoid a repeat of the 2016 election when misinformation spread like wildfire.

Twitter says it will root out false claims as well as bots that spread lies. It will also wait for confirmation from at least two respected news outlets before declaring a winner in the presidential race.

Facebook says it has a virtual “war room” where employees will fight efforts to destabilize the election. It will also wait to declare a winner.

Not everyone is convinced it’s enough.

“Despite their best efforts, social media companies cannot protect us from misinformation,” Matt Cabot, a social media professor at San Jose State University, said.

Experts say the best advice is to not believe everything you see just because it’s posted.

“It is incumbent upon us as consumers of information to get our news from sources that we can trust, that have a verified fact-checking process, an editorial process,” Cabot said.