Tuesday, November 15, 2016

From CNBC--quote of the day--secret task force wthin FB to combat fakew "news"

The task force, which sources tell BuzzFeed News includes employees from across the company, has already rebutted a statement made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a conference last week that the argument that fake news on Facebook affected the election was "a pretty crazy idea."
"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," said one Facebook employee, who works in the social network's engineering division. He, like the four other Facebook employees who spoke to BuzzFeed News for this story, would only speak on condition of anonymity. All five employees said they had been warned by their superiors against speaking to press, and feared they would lose their jobs if named.
More from Buzzfeed:
This woman got banned from Facebook for sharing an article about breasts
Google links to a fake site as top Election news result
Russian State television is totally here for President-Elect Trump

The employees declined to provide many details on the task force. One employee said "more than dozens" of employees were involved, and that they had met twice in the last six days. At the moment, they are meeting in secret, to allow members of the group to speak freely and without fear of condemnation from senior management. The group plans to formalize its meetings and eventually make a list of recommendations to Facebook's senior management. Another Facebook employee said while the task force remained small, "hundreds" of Facebook employees had expressed dissatisfaction with the company's stance on fake news in private online chats, and wanted to support efforts to challenge that position.
Facebook did not respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News, but in a statement to media last week, a Facebook spokesperson said, "While Facebook played a part in this election, it was just one of many ways people received their information – and was one of the many ways people connected with their leaders, engaged in the political process and shared their views."
In the wake of Trump's victory, Facebook has been facing questions over its responsibility in spreading misinformation or failing to clamp down on the sharing of fake news. Almost half of adult Americans rely on Facebook as a source of news, a recent study by the Pew Research Center found. A recent report by BuzzFeed News found that the three large left-wing pages published false or misleading information in nearly 20% of posts, while the three big right-wing Facebook pages published it 38% of the time. The report concluded: "The best way to attract and grow an audience for political content on the world's biggest social network is to eschew factual reporting and instead play to partisan biases using false or misleading information that simply tells people what they want to hear."

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