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Facebook fake profile identification: technical and ethical considerations

Pardis Pourghomi (College of Engineering and Technology, American University of the Middle East, Kuwait, Kuwait)
Milan Dordevic (College of Engineering and Technology, American University of the Middle East, Kuwait, Kuwait)
Fadi Safieddine (School of Architecture, Computing and Engineeering, University of East London, London, UK)

International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications

ISSN: 1742-7371

Article publication date: 20 January 2020

Abstract

Purpose

In March 2019, Facebook updated its security procedures requesting ID verification for people who wish to advertise or promote political posts of adverts. The announcement received little media coverage even though it is an interesting development in the battle against fake news. This paper aims to review the current literature on different approaches in the battle against the spread of fake news, including the use of computer algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI) and introduction of ID checks.

Design/methodology/approach

Critical to the evaluation is consideration into ID checks as a means to combat the spread of fake news. To understand the process and how it works, the team undertook a social experiment combined with reflective analysis to better understand the impact of ID check policies when combined with other standards policies of a typical platform.

Findings

The analysis identifies grave concerns. In a wider context, standardising such policy will leave political activists in countries vulnerable to reprisal from authoritarian regimes. Other victims of the impacts include people who use fake names to protect the identity of adopted children or to protect anonymity from abusive partners.

Originality/value

The analysis also points to the fact that troll armies could bypass these checks rendering the use of ID checks less effective in the battle to combat fake news.

Keywords

Citation

Pourghomi, P., Dordevic, M. and Safieddine, F. (2020), "Facebook fake profile identification: technical and ethical considerations", International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 101-112. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPCC-06-2019-0049

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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