Facebook has a fake news problem. The company itself insists fabricated stories account for an insignificant amount of content on its site, but its critics aren’t convinced, and calls for action have only grown louder since election night.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has issued two responses playing down the impact his platform had on the election outcome. His most recent statement reads: “Of all the content on
A new report alleges the opposite. According to the article,
The problem is one of partisanship, sources with direct knowledge of Facebook’s policymaking claim. The news sites in question are “disproportionately” right wing or conservative-leaning in terms of their editorial content, allege the unnamed individuals who spoke to Gizomodo.
Despite creating News Feed updates with the aim of stamping out fake news,
The company’s crippling inability to tackle the issue is allegedly a direct result of an earlier controversy regarding its Trending Topics feed. In May, a number of ex-
The Trending Topics incident “paralyzed” Facebook’s drive to alter its News Feed in fear of its objectivity once again being questioned, employees recently told the The New York Times. On the other hand, the changes the company has pushed through (including a crackdown on clickbait and an emphasis on “newsworthy” items) have led to it repeatedly being compared to a media company — much to its chagrin.
However, the contradictions in its recent string of statements do the company no favors.
To its credit, it has been transparent when modifying its products. This openness should be integral to its fight on fake news, which continues to tarnish its essential News Feed.
- Snopes says ex-partner Facebook is ‘not committed’ to fighting fake news
- Facebook is hiring actual human journalists to fight fake news
- Facebook tries to demystify your news feed with built-in transparency tool
- Algorithm outperforms humans at spotting fake news
- Facebook’s ‘trustworthiness’ scores weed out fake news, false user reports