Facebook Puts Truth up to a Vote in New Fake News Scheme
If there is one thing that’s constant in life, it’s change. If there’s one thing constant about Facebook, it’s change as well. Now, in an effort to combat “fake news,” Facebook has now decided to leave the truth about news up to its users.
A few weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, announced some major changes that would be happening to its users’ Facebook feeds. He announced that Facebook would be giving more attention to posts by a user’s family and friends.
“We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people,” he wrote.
Shortly after making this announcement, Zuckerberg announced even more changes. This time, he directed his attention to news publishers.
In a post on Friday, Zuckerberg said Facebook will prioritize news that is “trustworthy.”
“Today I’m sharing our second major update this year: to make sure the news you see, while less overall, is high quality. I’ve asked our product teams to make sure we prioritize news that is trustworthy, informative, and local. And we’re starting next week with trusted sources,” he wrote.
“There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today. Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don’t specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them. That’s why it’s important that News Feed promotes high quality news that helps build a sense of common ground.”
So how does he plan to do this?
By letting users decide what is “trustworthy.”
“As part of our ongoing quality surveys, we will now ask people whether they’re familiar with a news source and, if so, whether they trust that source. The idea is that some news organizations are only trusted by their readers or watchers, and others are broadly trusted across society even by those who don’t follow them directly,” Zuckerberg explained.
Here’s the problem though. Truth isn’t subjective, and truth isn’t decided by the masses.
The mainstream media in the United States didn’t get to be the mainstream media overnight. It got that way because for decades, it presented a picture of the world that corresponded to what most Americans recognized as reality. To this day, millions of Americans still watch, read and more or less trust the mainstream media because of the decades when it was trustworthy.
In recent years, though — especially with the campaign of Barack Obama and the eight years of his presidency — the mainstream media has abandoned its traditional mission and is deliberately skewing its reports to favor the liberal, progressive side in politics.
More and more news consumers have learned to turn to alternative media, especially conservative media, for a take on current events that corresponds to reality. Unfortunately, far too many Americans still habitually trust the mainstream news outlets, and that’s likely to show up in Facebooks “voting.”
Still, even if the majority of people believe a lie, that doesn’t make it the truth. It’s still a lie.
However, this very well may backfire and not last long. Here’s why. First of all, every attempt in the past by Facebook to combat “fake news” hasn’t worked. In fact, last December, Facebook discontinued a program that put flags next to news articles letting readers know it was potentially “fake news.”
As a result, these “disputed” articles were actually being read more because people thought that Facebook was suppressing real news by calling it fake. There was absolutely no trust in Facebook’s judgement.
There still isn’t.
That being said, if you’re afraid that you’ll miss news coming from Conservative Tribune, here’s a video that explains how you can ensure you can see all of our latest content in your Facebook feed.
Brace yourself. Changes are coming to Facebook. Time will only tell, though, how permanent the changes will be.
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