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The internet is full of fake news, and there may not be a way to fix it

A new Pew Research study found that 51 percent of “tech experts” don’t think the problem will get better.

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Fake news. The internet is full of it, and Facebook, for one, is making a big push to find it, flag it and make sure that people know what they’re reading.

But not everyone is convinced that Facebook — or anyone else — can actually improve the internet’s fake news problem.

A new study from Pew Research Center, which surveyed more than 1,000 “internet and technology experts” like professors, authors, and technologists, found that people are split on whether or not the internet’s fake news issue will be resolved.

Of those polled, 51 percent believe the “information environment will not improve” in the next 10 years, while 49 percent believe it will.

The fake news pessimists believe that technology just moves too fast for humans to catch up with bad actors, according to the findings.

“They predicted that manipulative actors will use new digital tools to take advantage of humans’ inbred preference for comfort and convenience and their craving for the answers they find in reinforcing echo chambers,” the study reads.

Coincidentally, those who believe the situation will get better also cited technology. “These more hopeful experts said the rising speed, reach and efficiencies of the internet, apps and platforms can be harnessed to rein in fake news and misinformation campaigns,” Pew found.

Misinformation has been top of mind for many in Silicon Valley since last year’s U.S. presidential election. Facebook, for example, has admitted that hundreds of Pages with Russian ties used the platform to purposely spread misinformation, both organically and through ads, in an attempt to stoke political discord among voters.

The social network has since made fighting misinformation a major priority, and is tweaking its policies and partnering with news organizations to try and keep fake news from spreading.

The issue doesn’t look like it’s going to go away anytime soon. The fact that Pew found that people aren’t just mixed on how to solve the problem, but mixed on whether the problem will be solved at all, shows how complicated this issue is to begin with.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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