Facebook’s plan to crack down on fake news

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Rogifan, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #1
    http://www.recode.net/2016/12/15/13...t=chorus&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter
    The question is how does one define "fake news"? My opinion the definition of "fake news" should be incredibly narrow. For example during the election someone posted a tweet bragging about destroying Trump absentee ballots in Ohio. This person was actually from California. They tweeted it to see how many pro-Trump sites would fall for it. Because Trump had been pushing the idea that the election might be rigged naturally this fit right into that and so it was picked up by certain pro-Turump sites and eventually found its way on to Drudge and Rush Limbaugh show.

    OK this is something that can easily be verified. The person tweeting it was located in California and admitted he made it up. That's clearly fake and I wouldn't even call it news. But that's clearly different than something presented a certain way to conform to the writers own political biases. Also politicians lie and spin all the time. Its impossible to filter that out. Bottom line is as long as people are willing to believe anything they read on the internet or see on TV if it conforms to their political biases not much can be done. I think the bigger issue is with so many different sources and ways to get news now people end up only getting news from sources that tell them what they want to hear. How do you get people to be willing to get news from more diverse perspectives and then form their own opinions? Very difficult when most people are set in their ways and don't want to take the time to educate themselves.
     
  2. DearthnVader macrumors regular

    DearthnVader

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    #2
    Hmmm......

    What about polling data, is that too "Fake News".
     
  3. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #3
    Fake news is something that can't be verified by at least 3 sources from 3 different news organizations.
     
  4. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

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    Facebook should handle this by going to back to what they originally were: a place where people shared stuff and people decided to see it by being "friends" with them. Now Facebook forces content to users with supposedly complex algorithms. Just go back to the days when I decided to be friends with Joe Blow and when he shared something at 12:00 it appeared on my timeline at 12:00. Then it's up to me to decide if Joe Blow is sharing garbage or not and if I want to continue to see it. Facebook has nothing to do with news unless we want it to.
     
  5. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    #5
    "Fake news" is a red herring. It's mainly just an underhanded way to add censorship at the publicly accepted level.
     
  6. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

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    #6
    Easy. First, separate the opinions from the facts. If the facts presented in a news article are verifiably untrue, it is fake news.

    Example: "Hillary is a witch who cannot be trusted." This is an opinion, not fake news.
    Example: "Podesta emails reveal Hillary had unprecedented levels of influence over the media." There is no opinion here. Check the facts: Is there a Podesta email on topic? Does it reveal that Hillary had influence over the media? Has any other presidential candidate, present or past, had similar influence over the media? If any of the above are answered "no," then the facts are verifiably untrue and it is fake news.
     
  7. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

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    #7
    I'm wary of Facebook taking any role in this because it could easily lead to censorship, something they have already been caught doing. Facebook does not report on news. They do not write articles or columns. People share stuff and others get to see it and comment on it. Let's not confuse social media with media.
    It's like we're talking about a group of people in a bar arguing over something, spewing statistics and a mix of actual facts and outright lies, and then saying it is the bar's responsibility to make sure what they are saying is accurate.
    I remember taking Journalism 1 and 2 in high school because they were supposedly blow off classes but I swear I learned more important things in those two classes than I did in any others.
     
  8. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #8
    News sites so share news stories to Facebook. The ones you see highlighted are the ones that get shared the most. Facebook is becoming a news aggregate.
     
  9. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

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    #9
    But that's where Facebook has stepped in it. Stop putting things on my timeline that I didn't ask to see. If my friend shares an article then show it to me. If I follow CNN and they share an article show it to me. But don't add things that I did not specifically set out to see because some algorithm says so.
     
  10. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #10
    Most of that stuff is "sponsored content" Ad blockers usually get rid of that.
     
  11. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #11
    Problem is nobody has a monopoly on facts and most news is going to be colored with context and opinion which is a lot more difficult for an algorithm or 3rd party fact checking site to determine whether it's true or false. Also is it really right to censor everything somebody says that's not true? Trump tweeted that there were millions of fraudulent votes this election. OK he had no hard facts to back it up but just the fact he tweeted it and apparently believed it is newsworthy. It's newsworthy to understand where he's getting his news from. And the fact that he would tweet something like that without anything concrete to back it up is newsworthy. What else is he going to tweet about based on no solid facts? Is that how he's going to run his administration? It's not something that should be censored from a news feed.
     
  12. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

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    #12
    First, what does "nobody has a monopoly on facts" supposed to mean? Facts aren't debatable. Something either is, or it isn't. Interpretations of facts and opinions can vary of course, and that is fine. But facts are facts. It was either 10F outside today in my city, or it wasn't. From this, I can say my city was colder than the surface of mars. That's not opinion or interpretation - it's a combination of two facts. It's either true or it isn't.

    The mechanics of fact-checking are of course complicated. But we start with one basic truth - facts are binary. The issue is some people tend to state opinions or interpretations and call these things facts. Again, opinions and interpretations are not facts.

    First, who is doing the censoring? Facebook and Twitter? They can censor whatever the hell they want. If we don't like it, we can move to another social media platform.

    Second, in my opinion, if a politician or political candidate says something that is brazenly untrue, it is perfectly fine to sensor this on private forums, or to tag it as UNTRUE/FAKE/LIE. The press can still report on it, but in context. E.g., "Trump tweets untrue fact about election. Click here to learn what he said."

    If Trump tweets "I think there were millions of fraudulent votes this election." then it is purely opinion, and it's fine. It's fine because opinion invites critique. That is the purpose of distinguishing between opinion and fact in our language - facts are firm, opinions are not.

    I'll ask you this: what benefit is there to not censoring lies and untruthful statements said as a fact? If it's a firm fact, then tell the truth. If the fact is not established one way or the other, then state it as an opinion or interpretation. What legitimate benefit is there to purposely deceiving people?
     
  13. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    #13
    It's not censorship if they still allow the story to be posted/read, while putting a tagline on it that says "this story may be fake".
     
  14. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

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    #14
    Let's try: unverified.
     
  15. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #15
    According to this article, the item will be marked "Disputed":
    http://arstechnica.com/business/2016/12/facebook-will-outsource-fact-checking-to-fight-fake-news/

    Also, regarding what counts as "fake news":
    Mosseri indicated that the company's new efforts will only target scammers, not sites that push conspiracies like Pizzagate. "Fake news means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but we are specifically focused on the worst of the worst—clear intentional hoaxes," he told BuzzFeed. In other words, if a publisher genuinely believes fake news to be true, it will not be fact-checked.
    [Bold added]

    Finally, here's the organization deciding what's "fake news":
    Once a story is flagged, it will go into a special queue that can only be accessed by signatories to the International Fact-Checkers Network Code of Principles, a project of nonprofit journalism organization Poynter. IFCN Code of Principles signatories in the US will review the flagged stories for accuracy. If the signatory decides the story is fake news, a "disputed" warning will appear on the story in News Feed. The warning will also pop up when you share the story.​

    I would not be surprised by a "dilution of credibility" attack on IFCN, for example by creating dissension and disagreement between its members, or directly disputing the credibility of various "disputed" markings. This will shift the nexus of any fallout from Facebook's News Feed product onto the shoulders of the rating organization and its members.

    Hooray, Facebook wins one extra-large externality, along with plausible deniability ("We relied on someone else to tell us it was false.") and +10 defensive hit points. I see no way this could possibly go wrong.
     
  16. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

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    #16
    not sure why you get the but I don't get news stories from non liked sources. ads yes news no.
     
  17. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

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    #17
    I like that even bettter.
     
  18. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #18
    But that's the thing, how does Facebook and these 3rd party organizations define facts? If someone publishes a story about Trump's tax plan being good for the economy, is that something that a 3rd party organization can easily flag as true or false? Again why I say the definition of fake news should be very narrow. An opinion someone doesn't agree with isn't fake news. And had Hillary won the election I guarantee nobody in the media would be pushing for Facebook to crack down on fake news.
     
  19. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #19
    Facebook was already found to be targeting conservative publications, I'm sure they will be unbiased in deciding what is fake, expect a liberal wall of news next election they can't allow the reds to win again.
     
  20. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #20
    Christina Warren who writes for Gizmodo was on CNN this morning. She says this is too late from Facebook and they should have been banning sources a long time ago. And that's the problem some have with this whole fake news outrage. They see it as just a way for liberals to silence those they don't agree with. I'm sure Christina would ban Breitbart in a heartbeat but outfits like Vox or Huffington Post would stay. Of course Facebook can do whatever it wants but a lot of people would leave the platform if they felt their news feed was being filtered to not show certain sources.
     
  21. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #21
    Has anyone actually went on facebook lately? News feeds are a complete **** show with ads and all kinds of crappy videos littered all over. I'd much rather them do a dump and revert to 2008 era.
     
  22. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #22
    To me FaceBook became to be AOL just minus the CDs!:mad:
     
  23. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

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    #23
    Poor abused constructives need a safe place from Facebook. Maybe they should make a trumpbook.
     
  24. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #24
    See post #15.

    Yea, well that's just, like, your opinion, man.
     
  25. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #25
    Yeah but I bet I'd be right.
     

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