“We finally got a grudging mea culpa from Mark Zuckerberg: an admission that fake news is a significant problem that his social network must help solve.But as a journalist who has been covering the inner workings of the technology industry for more than a decade, I find the calls for Facebook to accept broad responsibility for fact-checking the news, including by hiring editors and reporters, deeply unsettling.
What those demanding that Facebook accept “responsibility” for becoming the dominant news aggregator of our time seem to be overlooking is that there’s a big difference between the editorial power that individual news organizations wield and that which Facebook could. Such editorial power in Facebook’s hands would be unprecedented and dangerous.”
Couldn’t disagree more. Here are some articulate responese:
HeyNorris Paris, France 8 hours ago
” “I’m not comfortable trusting the truth to one gatekeeper that has a mission and a fiduciary duty to increase advertising revenue…”
Nor am I, yet that pretty much describes every modern media company, the NYTimes included. For the past 18 months, the insanity that was the Trump campaign was covered endlessly, breathlessly, and sloppily, because nothing spells click bait like Donald J. Trump.
I would agree with your argument if Facebook and other social media platforms weren’t considered a source of news by 62% of Americans, according to Pew.
We are seeing the result of what happens when the gatekeepers are dismissed and totally unfiltered information is circulated in voters’ echo-chamber social media circles, i.e. that a demonstrably unfit-for-the-presidency crazy person will soon inhabit the Oval Office.
Like it or not, Facebook is now a major news source; why shouldn’t they be any less responsible for the “news” on their platform than, say, Reuters? To say they aren’t responsible for what users post on the behemoth they’ve created is like saying a porn platform shouldn’t be held responsible for child pornography posted to its site.
For journalists like you to let Facebook off the hook is to further doom journalism (and truth) to further obscurity. I don’t trust Facebook to determine what is true either, but I would much prefer they at least try instead of letting truth die a slow and painful death.
Buzzramjet Solvang, CA 8 hours ago
Yes FB should absolutely do fact checking and ban lying sites. In the last year I have read so many sites with out and out lies as to be mindboggling.
We are not talking opinion pieces but rather sites who do lies for no reason than to make clickbait money from the gullible right wing who slaver over these sites that feed their hate and anger. Several sites have already admitted making up stories knowing the right wing will devour them and pass them on. These things have consequences and the biggest is the one the conservatives just put into our White House. A man of low morals, no integrity, who has nothing but disdain for the Constitution, is a serial liar, racist, bigot and incredibly ignorant. One site tried to get lies about Trump spread but found liberals are not easily taken in by such antics.
Thanks to places like FB, the lies helping to make a major part of America hate Hillary, were mainstreamed. Even so called reputable news organizations would jump on them if it meant ratings.
So yes FB should police sites who propagate these lies, half truths and character assassination on a scale unheard of in modern history.
FB is a private corporation with their own rules in order to post and one of them should be the truth. You cannot claim hamburger will cure cancer so neither should any site on FB say Hillary stole 6 billion dollars from State or sold uranium to Russia for 100 million paid to the Clinton Foundation to name a few lies.
These lies divide America.
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