Facebook employees have reportedly created a task force to stop fake news stories

midian182

Posts: 5,753   +46
Staff member

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg spoke out against claims that fake Facebook news stories helped Donald Trump win the election. The CEO called the idea “pretty crazy,” but it seems some of his staff disagree. According to a Buzzfeed report, “more than dozens” of employees have formed an unofficial task force to address the problem.

One employee revealed that there were “more than dozens” of people involved with the group. Speaking about Zuckerberg’s earlier comments, they said: “It’s not a crazy idea. What’s crazy is for him to come out and dismiss it like that, when he knows, and those of us at the company know, that fake news ran wild on our platform during the entire campaign season.”

While the group is currently meeting in secret, there are plans to formalize the task force and eventually make a list of recommendations to Facebook senior management. One of the members said that “hundreds” of the social network’s workers are unhappy about their boss’ stance on fake news, and wanted to support efforts that challenge Zuckerberg’s position.

The Facebook CEO said it took a “profound lack of empathy” to conclude that someone voted the way they did based on a fake social media story. He also played down claims that Facebook had become an echo chamber where people only saw the same views they held. But it seems few people agree with him.

A Gizmodo article published yesterday claims that Facebook has the tools to shut down fake news stories, but the company won't use them in case it upsets conservatives, who are still angry over the trending topics allegations from earlier this year. Facebook denied that this was true.

Around 44 percent of US adults get their news from Facebook. Zuckerberg may claim that people know when a story is fake, but there are plenty who believe these items are often substantiated by fact.

It's been revealed today that both Google and Facebook are updating their policies to prevent fake news sites from using the firms' ad networks to generate revenue.

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p51d007

Posts: 2,414   +1,683
The ONLY way to stop "fake" news on Fakebook, would be to NOT allow stories to post, unless they are vetted.
"instant" access to everything, these days, prevents stories from being vetted properly.
 

jhill3d71

Posts: 16   +9
During the election I was checking snopes on just about every story or news post. Almost all completely fake or a half truth. I bet the majority just accept it for truth.
 
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davislane1

The ONLY way to stop "fake" news on Fakebook, would be to NOT allow stories to post, unless they are vetted.
"instant" access to everything, these days, prevents stories from being vetted properly.
These organizations are some of the least trusted in the world. Forbidding content because it doesn't meet "their" truth standard is only going to magnify its impact.

Case in point: spirit cooking and "pizza." These turned up in the Podesta emails and were promptly and universally denounced by the media and so-called fact checkers as utter non-issues based on supposedly fake conspiracy theories.

Everyone saw this and it blew up. So now, if you supported Clinton, you are probably a supporter of a satanist pedophile. Because "fake."

Establishing a ministry of truth will only serve to empower that which you claim to want banished. If you want to stop the propagation of actual fake information, you have to make its subscribers look gullible not turn the sources into something sexy.
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,648   +1,447
What is 'fake news' really?

Isn't it a parody ("A parody is a composition that imitates the style of another composition, normally for comic effect and often by applying that style to an outlandish or inappropriate subject." - Cliff Notes ) - exaggerating or inverting the truth beyond the point of 'truthiness'?

I have a dear friend who cannot tell that something is a parody. It's 'on the news' (I.e., he saw it on the internet) and so he accepts it. When I try to show him how to 'fact check' and to look for collaborative sources, he gets confused and unhappy.

It makes me want to require some type of label on a parody ( a legend at the top which says "the 'facts' presented here are not necessarily true ones, but are presented to be entertaining to the viewer"), to help my friend grasp the distinction.

I easily realize that Hillary doesn't eat babies and that Donald doesn't have a secret dacha in the Crimea where he meets Putin to plot the overthrow of NATO, but some folks, like my friend, just don't - especially when the video features a stage set which copies the 6 o'clock news.

Do you have any ideas about how I could help my friend?
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,648   +1,447
Mock and ridicule people who subscribe to demonstrably false beliefs. He'll either stop being your friend or stop taking everything at face value.
Being my friend, I do not want to "mock and ridicule". I would rather there were a better solution than that one.
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,590   +480
I can't tell you how many times I've seen the Onion used as a source or linked as a news article...

That being said the Onion is great; I've been reading since back when they were still physically printing weekly issues.
 
D

davislane1

Being my friend, I do not want to "mock and ridicule". I would rather there were a better solution than that one.
This is why I said 'others' and not him directly. Outside of shaming, you aren't going to get someone to change the way they behave if that change is harmful to their ego. Think of it as psychological economics. To spark change, you need to create a clear cost and benefit. It has to be extremely uncomfortable to believe X and Y has to appear comfortable by comparison.

Edit: I said "people" in the first post. I meant "other people."
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,648   +1,447
To spark change, you need to create a clear cost and benefit.
Thank you. I think you do have the essential pivot..."clear cost and benefit". I just hope I can discover or inspire such a solution without making my friend ( a long time chum, but not the sharpest blade in the drawer) feel demeaned.
 
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Teko03

Posts: 610   +323
What about the false news stories/claims which comes from "memes" ---- they going to filter those as well? LOL
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,648   +1,447
What about the false news stories/claims which comes from "memes" ---- they going to filter those as well? LOL
"Filter" is not good - that's censorship. However, if "fake news" presented as "true" in a format which clones most of the elements of a "true facts" news provider, does this cross the line and become malicious.

Should parodies be labelled as such so a malicious use is avoided?
 
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davislane1

"Filter" is not good - that's censorship. However, if "fake news" presented as "true" in a format which clones most of the elements of a "true facts" news provider, does this cross the line and become malicious.

Should parodies be labelled as such so a malicious use is avoided?
If we accept the premise, yes.

This is speech regulation. It starts as something advertised to prevent blatant lies from becoming credible and naturally expands to encompass everything.

See for reference: ESRB ratings, content warnings in music, etc.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,063   +5,415
Creating a task force and implementing it are two very different things ..... especially where the owner and CEO is involved .....
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,648   +1,447
If we accept the premise, yes.

This is speech regulation. It starts as something advertised to prevent blatant lies from becoming credible and naturally expands to encompass everything.

See for reference: ESRB ratings, content warnings in music, etc.
I most certainly agree. I accept as bearable "guidance" offered in a public spirited manner (X-rated movies are not screened in my house).

Maybe we should permit something like 'small claims court' for parodies that lie and are also cloaked in a 'truthy' manner. So if a public figure is defamed by something easily proved to be false, he can obtain an immediate injunction requiring the "parody label".

It pleases me to think that if this were ever misused, that a "parody label" on something proven to be actually true would be a 'badge of honor' (at least the equivalent of a Steam Achievement).
 
D

davislane1

Maybe we should permit something like 'small claims court' for parodies that lie and are also cloaked in a 'truthy' manner. So if a public figure is defamed by something easily proved to be false, he can obtain an immediate injunction requiring the "parody label".
They can already sue for that.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,480   +820
What is 'fake news' really?

Isn't it a parody ("A parody is a composition that imitates the style of another composition, normally for comic effect and often by applying that style to an outlandish or inappropriate subject." - Cliff Notes ) - exaggerating or inverting the truth beyond the point of 'truthiness'?

I have a dear friend who cannot tell that something is a parody. It's 'on the news' (I.e., he saw it on the internet) and so he accepts it. When I try to show him how to 'fact check' and to look for collaborative sources, he gets confused and unhappy.

It makes me want to require some type of label on a parody ( a legend at the top which says "the 'facts' presented here are not necessarily true ones, but are presented to be entertaining to the viewer"), to help my friend grasp the distinction.

I easily realize that Hillary doesn't eat babies and that Donald doesn't have a secret dacha in the Crimea where he meets Putin to plot the overthrow of NATO, but some folks, like my friend, just don't - especially when the video features a stage set which copies the 6 o'clock news.

Do you have any ideas about how I could help my friend?
Change their DNS tables on their router so all adresses all point to 127.1.1.1 - that should help.
 

seefizzle

Posts: 422   +292
Zuckerberg: Facebook had no effect on the election.

Zuckerberg: We're creating a task force to stop fake news.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,480   +820
I suppose the self-referencing might help my friend a tiny bit - he is less likely to mislead himself than some of the characters on the web.
Plus, its like "pure" functional programing applied to a human: completely self-contained with no inputs or outputs. Just "pure" self-referencing functions.