Spreading Like Wildfire: Solutions for Abating the Fake News Problem on Social Media via Technology Controls and Government Regulation

Alexandra Andorfer

Volume 69, Issue 5, 1409-1431

“Fake news” seems to be the phrase du jour these days. During the 2016 presidential election, fake news and propaganda proliferated on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, with many of the concocted faux sources emanating from Russia and elsewhere. In Fall 2017, tech executives and their lawyers were called to Capitol Hill to testify before Congress as to the influence fake news may have had on the American public during the last election season. In response, technology companies and social media networks are considering implementing various changes to their platforms to help users identify fact from falsehoods.

This Note examines the modifications technology companies are putting in place to ensure accuracy in news reporting. This Note also proposes a legal solution to curb fake news and warns against certain safeguards to avoid implicating First Amendment free speech rights online.

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