Although Facebook has pledged to fight fake news and other misinformation on its platform, there’s a loophole (via Mashable).
Currently, there’s a bug in Facebook Groups that lets Pages create and spread fake news via editable link previews. These appear when you post a link to Facebook as an embed, and show an image and headline from the article.
In the past, users were able to edit the image, headline, and description. Facebook removed the editing feature in 2017. But the glitch still lets Facebook Pages do it.
Let’s take the Howard Schultz dropping out of the presidential race example. Using my Facebook Page and the loophole, I was able to post the same CNN link in a Facebook Group with an edited headline, completely changing the meaning of the post. You can see the result above. The average Facebook user scrolling by will see a CNN sourced article with a fake headline and wouldn’t know it was altered unless they actually clicked through.
Groups have become the new hive for misinformation, where conspiracy theorists, antivaxxers, and more have a shared, safe space for fake news.
To this day, applying for approval for your Facebook Page and your domain name is the only way to edit link preview metadata on your Facebook Page. There is no way to edit previews for links to sites you don’t own … other than this weird Groups loophole, of course.