Facebook Drains the Fake News Swamp With New, Experimental Partnerships
Before you cheer please notice how Facebook is planning on using volunteer services to support their cash cow business. Crowd sourcing is one thing, using other volunteer run web sites and services that are gratis instead of investing dollars in your own human supported filter systems is symptomatic of everything that is wrong with today’s internet and gig economy. These are the forces destroying jobs in our country every day.
Starting today, Facebook is responding to widespread criticism over the spread of “fake news” by integrating a layer of fact checking into its publication process, and throttling money from “spammy” sites that profit from spreading false stories. Its product team suggests this is “just the start” of tackling further issues that plague the Trending and News Feed features. In what seems like a series of relatively sensible and cautious steps, the fact checking responsibilities have been handed off to third-party organizations.
Articles flagged as dubious will be funneled to third-party fact-checking organizations, including factcheck.org and snopes.com, which will then either clear the article as fact checked or flag it as dubious. The flag is carried with the article, and if someone wishes to “share” a piece of fake news, Facebook will add a prompt asking if the user really wants to share a dubious story, a kind of caveat participem to stop the careless whispering of mendacious content.
The relationship with the veteran myth-busting and fake news–debunking sites involves no compensation, which is consistent with Facebook’s philosophy that the human aspects of curation and editing are better kept at arm’s length, and off the payroll.