After Google, Facebook is trying to fight fake news by itself. In doing so, they recently purchased an AI startup based in London. But, Facebook doesn’t seem to be really doing so. This week, Facebook hosted a press event on their fight against the fake news. In the interview round, Facebook seemed to have messed up the entire thing. When Oliver Darcy, CNN reporter asked Facebook’s NewsFeed head, John Hegeman, the reply was indifferent.
The Interview Of John Hegeman
Oliver Darcy asked John that “How is the company claiming that they are fighting against the fake news? InfoWars have a Facebook Fan Page with nearly 1 million followers. If the company is seriously tackling the issue, why are they allowed on the platform?”.
What John Hegeman replied to the question is rather confusing. He said that “Just for if a company is false, it is not violating any standards. InfoWars has not violated any community standards for them to be taken down. We allow people to have their own voice. Hence different people will have the different point of views”.
The answer was confusing with what the press conference was all about. The main point of the conference was Facebook will be fighting against fake news. In that sense, Facebook said that it will be launching its breaking news videos to support that next week. Also, Facebook said that they will be launching a scheme wherein they will pay the companies for publishing quality news. The program will be started next Monday with Fox News being the first company to participate in it.
With the comment John made, it looks very unfamiliar that Facebook is fighting fake news. While defending the statement, Facebook said that it cannot reveal about InfoWars as it will be a privacy violation. However, Facebook has taken the stand for them by supporting them. It looks like Facebook will be allowing such companies on their platform which doesn’t really make it fake news free.
Facebook was first accused of spreading fake news during the 2016 elections. It was found that Russian people particularly used the Social Network to influence the results of the US elections. Hence Facebook has been trying a lot to come up with many solutions to try to make its platform more powerful. For doing so, in the last 2 years, they have made many changes have been made to the platform to improve on the flaw.
With the interview going wrong, Facebook tried its best to come up with statements on its Twitter Handle. Facebook said that “We analyse each page to what they are posting. If people report the posts too often, we take necessary actions against the pages. Along with that, we monitor the profiles as well. If a user has been posting irrelevant stuff, we demote their posts. Hence around 20% of people only will be able to see the posts further on”.
Facebook might be having a point too. When a user tweeted that “InfoWars said that they think the government is responsible for 9/11 attack. What should you really be doing on it?”. Facebook tweeted back that “In this instance, it is not hard to say it is a wrong news. Wrong news are different from fake news. If people feel it is a fake news, we simply demote the posts of that page instead of banning them”.