Near the end of January, another text post got massive engagement on Facebook. That one also had to do with undocumented immigrants and got 13,000 more engagements than a fact check from PolitiFact. Earlier that month, another text post got 180,000 more engagements than another fact check from the Poynter-owned outlet.
And this week, that trend didn’t slow down.
One text post, posted at the end of January, repeated the Medicare hoax debunked by Factcheck.org on Feb. 21. It got more than 15,000 engagements — 10 times the reach of PolitiFact’s debunk. Another false text post published Feb. 19 about the Iran nuclear deal racked up five times more engagements than a corresponding Factcheck.org article.
It takes virtually no time for users to create text posts, yet they get massive engagement on Facebook. Why?
First, research shows that visual misinformation spreads further on social media than text-based posts. Photos regularly beat out fact checks on social media. So by adding a visual element, in this case, a colored background, users can attract more eyeballs (and shares) than a mere bogus claim in a text status.
Second, Facebook employs artificial intelligence to try and detect duplicate fakes on the platform. Once it finds a new hoax that’s already been debunked elsewhere by one of its fact-checking partners, it automatically downranks it. But that system could be hampered by the fact that there are no links or visually similar elements of text posts that can be used to identify when a false claim
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2019/forget-fake-news-stories-false-text-posts-are-getting-massive-engagement-on-facebook/