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Facebook CEO Outlines Solutions for Purging ‘Fake News’ Stories

Written by Philip Hodges

This whole ‘fake news’ thing is rather confusing to me. Why is it that people are holding Facebook responsible for the content that its users generate? Why can’t Facebook do what Craigslist does? All throughout Craigslist’s website, you’ll see disclaimers regarding how to spot and avoid scammers.

Facebook doesn’t need to “crack down” on what it perceives as fake news. If they really care about the news content, then they should post disclaimers reminding users to do their own research to verify news stories, regardless of where the news stories originated.

While the media, academic, and political establishments are all in a tizzy trying to “crack down” on anything that could have contributed to Trump’s win to prevent this from ever happening again, back in 2008, then-President-elect Barack Obama was praised for using Facebook to win an election.  I guess they didn’t have ‘fake news’ back then. The ‘fake news’ didn’t come about until the Democrats’ power and influence was severely threatened.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on Saturday that his company is working on solutions to news stories being spread around with false or misleading information. He said he didn’t want Facebook to be in a position where they’d be the “arbiters of truth,” and that they’d rather err on the side of letting everyone say whatever they want, and “instead rely on our community and trusted third parties” to sift out misinformation. Here are some specific solutions Zuckerberg laid out:

– Stronger detection. The most important thing we can do is improve our ability to classify misinformation. This means better technical systems to detect what people will flag as false before they do it themselves.

– Easy reporting. Making it much easier for people to report stories as fake will help us catch more misinformation faster.

– Third party verification. There are many respected fact checking organizations and, while we have reached out to some, we plan to learn from many more.

– Warnings. We are exploring labeling stories that have been flagged as false by third parties or our community, and showing warnings when people read or share them.

– Related articles quality. We are raising the bar for stories that appear in related articles under links in News Feed.

– Disrupting fake news economics. A lot of misinformation is driven by financially motivated spam. We’re looking into disrupting the economics with ads policies like the one we announced earlier this week, and better ad farm detection.

– Listening. We will continue to work with journalists and others in the news industry to get their input, in particular, to better understand their fact checking systems and learn from them.

One commenter and Facebook user Stuart Lynch weighed in in response to Zuckerberg’s post, showing how liberals define ‘fake news’:

“I stumbled upon a page that detailed a Trump supporter’s feed. 

“It was a packed full of anti-Clinton rhetoric, links to hate speech; racism; Islamophobia, homophobia; etc, etc, etc. Not to mention a ton of external links in line with ideals of the far right.

“You can’t control it all and of course you have to appear unbiased. 

“I understand.

“Sorry Marky Mark, I actually don’t! If I were the founder/creator of Facebook, I would have deliberately planted a big ‘Please don’t vote for Trump’ banner at the top of every page. Not as a matter of personal opinion, but as a matter of fact; based on fact checking, having an IQ above 90; And common f***ing sense. 

“But Facebook, like everything else in this godforsaken world belongs to the shareholders. And the owners must conform. 

“We can’t hold you accountable for white trash over-breeding in the bible belt, or for people having backward opinions. Yet this election was absolutely won on the social media platform, and as the king of social media, you’re responsible at least for just sitting back and letting it happen.

“Enjoy your new world.”

That’s a pretty clear picture of how the left defines ‘fake news’:  Anything that comes from a white Christian who lives in the South and is critical of Hillary Clinton. By definition, everything that person says is “racist,” “Islamophobic,” and “homophobic” “hate speech” and should be banned.

WikiLeaks is far from being Christian or living in the South, but liberals would classify everything they published this year as ‘fake news.’ Ironically, it was actually the most real news ever published. It was nothing but primary source material with no commentary attached. You can’t get any more real news than that. Oh, but Russia hacked into John Podesta’s account, so none of it counted.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Philip Hodges

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