Mark Zuckerberg has announced Facebook’s new strategy to label and suppress “fake news” in their user’s news feeds, something the company was criticized for after the election by some who believed it contributed to Donald Trump’s victory.
Since Trump defeated Clinton against all odds there has been an outcry from left-leaning media websites and cable news stations against what they have called “fake news”. This fake news was apparently so impactful on voters that they consider it to be a lead contributor to Trump’s success, in addition to the Russian hackers of course.
Now, in an effort to suppress the effects of alternative news sources (obviously not trusting their readers to be able to make that decision on their own), Facebook has announced they will be employing third party fact checkers who will be responsible for labeling what they consider to be fake news that shows up on their user’s news feeds.
Facebook is going to start fact checking, labeling, and burying fake news and hoaxes in the News Feed, the company announced on Thursday.
The decision comes after Facebook received heated criticism for its role in spreading a deluge of political misinformation during the U.S. presidential election, like one story that falsely said the Pope had endorsed Donald Trump.
To combat fake news, Facebook has partnered with a shortlist of media organizations, including Snopes and ABC News, that are part of an international fact-checking network lead by Poynter, a nonprofit school for journalism located in St. Petersburg, Florida.
So now Facebook has decided to partner with two of the most liberal media sources in the country to perform “fact checking” and determine what they consider to be fake news. The main fact checking writing for Snopes is Kim Lacapria, a previous blogger who was involved in publishing debunked hoaxes.
In fact, Snopes was caught in deception as recently as this year during the Democratic National Convention when they “debunked” the so-called myth of the complete lack of American flags present at the convention on it’s opening day. After it was reported that the DNC featured no American Flags at their event, and harsh criticism ensued on social media, the Democrats finally felt it necessary to display Old Glory on the convention’s second day.
First day of DNC with not a single American Flag in sight:
Second day of DNC, where staff is placing American Flags:
Snopes, however, was caught lying by using a picture of the American flags featured at the DNC on the second day, rather than the lack of them on the first, claiming that the notion of them not displaying the flags was false. If you read the article featured on Snopes regarding the flags issue, and their so-called “debunking” of it, it should be plain to any reader that they included a liberal slant, using phrasing like “Of course, these images were deliberately misleading”.
For a website that is suppose to be based on facts, why did the author need to throw in the words “of course” and “deliberately misleading”, as if they felt strongly about the issue one way or another. You can clearly feel the emotion behind the intentions of the writer in that article.
Thankfully someone was fact checking the fact checkers, but now Snopes is going to have a hand in determining what is fake news on the largest social media site in the world, along with the power to suppress any story that perhaps doesn’t fit with what they consider a “fact”.
Considering Snopes was already caught in deception over the American flags featured at the DNC, and is well known for having a liberal slant to their opinions, my guess is some very legitimate conservative stories are going to start getting suppressed on Facebook.
Even the creator of Snopes, David Mikkelson, admited that the most complaints he receives are that the site has a liberal bias.
The story continues, stating that Facebook will begin testing this new fact checking system on some users, and once third-party operators from Snopes, ABC and other left-leaning organizations identify these stories they will be suppressed and branded with a “Fake News” label.
Starting as a test with a small percentage of its users in the United States, Facebook will make it easier to report news stories that are fake or misleading. Once third-party fact checkers have confirmed that the story is fake, it will be labeled as such and demoted in the News Feed.
A company spokesperson told Business Insider that the social network will also use other signals, like algorithms that detect whether a story that appears fake is going viral, to determine if it should label the story as fake and bury it in peoples’ feeds.
“We’ve focused our efforts on the worst of the worst, on the clear hoaxes spread by spammers for their own gain, and on engaging both our community and third party organizations,” Facebook News Feed chief Adam Mosseri said in a company blog post on Thursday.
Facebook has given its four initial fact-checking partners access to a tool that will let them label stories in the News Feed as fake, a Facebook spokesperson said. The spokesperson said that Facebook is not paying the organizations to fact check.
The websites that Facebook determines to be fake news organizations or spoofed domains will also not be able to sell ads on the social network. Owners of fake news sites can make thousands of dollars per month through internet ads.
Facebook has repeatedly said that it’s not a media company, but rather an open technology platform that relies on media publishers and its users to share accurate information.
I suppose conservative users of Facebook should have complete confidence in the third party fact checkers ability to be unbiased towards stories favoring their values, even considering during the election a Facebook employee admitted that they “routinely suppressed conservative news”.
Get ready to possibly see a lot less of your favorite news sources, as a list of popular conservative websites was published by a liberal professor and hailed as a “definitive list of fake news sites”. This list included popular news sites like The Drudge Report, Breitbart News and Infowars.
Considering The Drudge Report consistently ranks within the top 3 most visited news websites in the country, easily exceeding a billion pageviews per month, I’d say it should be considered more relevant and reliable than most cable news outlets.
What happened to Mark Zuckerberg stating that only 1% of all the content on Facebook is fake news? If that’s the case, why the need to implement an entirely new system and hire third parties to police the website?
The answer is more likely to be the mainstream media’s credibility was so tarnished due to their undying support of Hillary Clinton, that censoring alternative news sources is the equivalent of giving them a bailout.
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