Students found a fix for fake news on Facebook

In this May 16, 2012, file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia.  

Following criticism of fake news and misinformation circulating on Facebook, some students have a fix for the social-media site.

The Washington Post reported that Nabanita De, an international second-year master's student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has contributed to a solution.

>> Read more trending stories

De participated in a hackathon at Princeton University and when tasked with creating a technology project in 36 hours, she pitched an algorithm to determine real from fake articles on Facebook.

Purdue University freshman Anant Goel and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign sophomores Mark Craft and Qinglin Chen made FiB, a Google Chrome internet browser extension.

The Post reported that the extension tags Facebook posts "verified" or "not verified" The distinction is made by an algorithm that analyzes the content of the story with other similar stories and the credibility of the website reporting the story.

Goel told the post that if Facebook used FiB, it would be a third-party relationship so that outside developers can verify the data determined by the algorithm.

That approach is an attempt to avoid previous accusations Facebook faced that it was biased against conservative websites.

The extension is open source, which means other, more experienced developers can contribute to the tool.
Such a simple solution can be helpful, but for now, it's up to the user to implement a verification tool such as FiB.