And by students.

Facebook has recently been under fire due to its vast wealth of false news articles linked to the social media platform. You’ll see it often. Someone sharing something that is just blatantly not true.

Mark Zuckerberg assured us that 99% of the news shared on Facebook was actually verified. But considering the amount of posts shared on Facebook daily, 1% is still a large number. The majority of fake news stories were targeted at Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, and many pollsters have said that these fake stories actually swayed the outcome of the presidential election.

Facebook staff have appointed an unofficial “secret task force” to combat the fake news cropping up, but maybe they should’ve just hired these guys.

Four students at the recent Princeton hackathon, sponsored in part by Facebook, came up with a plugin entitled FiB: Stop living a lie.

This clever little extension scans your feed as you scroll, removes any links that would be deemed false, and replaces them with the truth.

The students behind the plugin were:

  • Nabanita De, a second-year Master’s Student in computer science, Uni of Massachusetts.
  • Anant Goel, a freshman from Purdue.
  • Mark Craft, sophomore, University of Illinois.
  • Qinglin Chen, sophomore, University of Illinois.

While the plugin is rather clever, it can’t outright stop the distribution of false information, or lies.

The most impressive thing, however, would have to be that all the tools needed to create the programme were totally new to the four students. So not only did they create a functioning plugin, they learned how to use all the tools effectively within 36 hours.

I can’t even get mods to work on Fallout half the time.

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