California, the nation’s fourth-largest state, is the first to report a spike in “fake news” on social media since the election.
A group of news organizations, including The Associated Press, NBC News and CNN, said they’ve seen a surge in posts that include fake news and misleading claims, which have caused people to believe “fake” news or “untrue” information, including stories they shouldn’t believe.
In some cases, the posts have become “the most widely shared content in Facebook history,” said The Associated Reuters News Service in a report published on Monday.
A Facebook spokesperson told ABC News on Tuesday that the company takes the issue of fake news very seriously and is working with all news organizations on their efforts.
“The vast majority of our community is dedicated to reporting the news, and we want to help the news organizations do just that,” Facebook spokesperson Sam Schulz said in a statement.
“However, in some cases we see content that we believe to be misleading or fake.
We are working with the news outlets to help them understand and address this.”
The report by The Associated AP News Service, NBC Washington, The Associated Statesman, The New York Times and others found a number of posts on social networking sites have been linked to misinformation, including the false claim that President-elect Donald Trump won the popular vote, the story that former president George W. Bush won the U.S. election in 2000, and the claim that Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) lost the Alabama Senate primary to incumbent Sen. Richard Shelby (R).
It also found a post by the “Unabomber” James Foley claiming he was a CIA operative and that he murdered the journalist James Foley in Afghanistan in 2012.
The Associated statesman said it is not clear if the posts are being shared intentionally, or if they have a political purpose.
The AP reported that the post in question originated on a Facebook page called “Unbomber James Foley.”
Facebook said on Tuesday it is looking into the reports and has taken steps to prevent such content.