NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - If you went on Facebook at all during the election, you probably noticed a spike in the amount of political news articles on your feed. Some of them were from reputable sites; others were from unrecognizable media sources -- almost as if the site was fake. Well, that's because many of them were.
"It's not just that Facebook is a good publishing platform for fake news sites, it's also that this content do a lot better often on news feed," said Alexios Mantezarlis, director of International Fact Checking Network at Poynter. "They go viral because they confirm biases and therefore people like and share them more, increasing their reach."
Facebook's newsfeed, which is designed to show users content that they will most likely engage with, is now under scrutiny for not having strict enough policies in place to weed out the fake news sites. Many of those sites are publishing false stories about candidates across both party lines. The articles are even showing up in the "Trending Topics" portion of the website, which is viewed by nearly 2 billion monthly users.
Lance Ulanoff of Mashable says Facebook has tried to have it both ways by once saying it is a news site and then later saying it is not.
With almost half of American adults relying on Facebook as a source of news, according to a study done by the pew research center, some are blaming the social media site for directly influencing the results of the election. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg came to the defense of his company, stating the claim was "pretty crazy."
"This problem pollutes our understanding of objective reality in America," Mantezarlis said. "It pollutes our understanding of facts."
Facebook isn't alone. Over the weekend a story ranked high on google that falsely stated that President-elect Donald Trump won the popular vote, when in fact, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.
Facebook and google have both announced it will ban websites that publish false news stories from generating revenue with its advertising platform.