Despite its unpopularity when it comes to reliable information or balanced discussions, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is going on with the launch of its prediction app, Forecast. The app permits collective insights and crowdsourced predictions, which will help in shaping conversations.
Facebook launches Forecast app
The company is launching Forecast to help grow communities in terms of predictions as users can ask the app questions and then employ in-app points in making predictions on what is likely to happen in the future. Interestingly users can create, engage in discussions as well as view the crowdsourced predictions. Users can browse on popular topics to make predictions and share with the predictions trackable with time.
When the company launched Forecast it was available to Canadian, and US users as it piloted the app. The predictions made through the app will be accessible through the Forecast web and can be shared on other platforms. Before the launch, the social media giant internally tested the product with a section of employees with their initial forecasts forming the Forecast’s initial content.
Skepticism about the spread of misinformation
In a statement, the company indicated that following the pilot testing, they learned that when people explain how they arrived at their predictions, it encourages positive and respectful conversations. However, considering Facebook’s history of misinformation, there is every reason for skepticism. This is because decisions on the predictions will be down to binary choice and a lot of speculation indicates that the forecast could influence outcomes or underpin existing beliefs. For instance, considering the app can be used for making forecasts about events like COVID-19, such predictions might be ill-advised because they will be guesses in COVID-19.
Facebook indicates that the app launched in June has to follow moderation guidelines that imply the question will require approval before publication. For now, the company has invited researchers, academicians, and health experts to predict the coronavirus pandemic and how it has impacted the world. The predictions might help show what people think of the pandemic.