Why Facebook Needs to Take Responsibility for Fake News | Wesley Lowery

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Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery says the social media giant isn’t excused from making responsible editorial choices just because it wishes to see itself as a technology company first. Lowery’s book is “They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement” (

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Transcript – I think Facebook is responsible for what exists and what happens on its platform and I think that Facebook has been negligent in its responsibility to safeguarding and providing a forum in which sane and reasonable interaction happens and that hysterical and untrue interaction does not happen. What we know is that Facebook has the ability to deal with fake news. These are fake sites that they pop up. They’re being spread by specific pages and specific accounts and rather than address that Facebook has allowed millions of people to become deeply ill informed. Now there’s a question how democratic should a platform like Facebook be? If everyone wants to share a fake news article should that be allowed? Or does Facebook have some editorial control of what it allows to be propagated via its own mechanisms and its own channels. I mean I think that Facebook needs to take greater steps in these spaces because again Facebook itself has become a media publisher and it is now the platform and the canvas for chaos to be created by all of this fake information spreading so quickly without any check and balance and any responsibility being taken by the platform of sorting through what is true and what is not. Read Full Transcript Here:

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26 COMMENTS

  1. The real problem is existance of facebook, whoever uses facebook is complete idiot, and no, i do not care if you have PhD, you are fucking moron.

  2. Fake News for real?
    The only fake news in question here is the fake Mainstream Mass Media News and Information State Propaganda channels that fabricate, misrepresent, twist, and lie about what is really going on regarding foreign and domestic issues by presenting utterly contrived and prescripted fake journalism. I think at least the majority of people not only in the U.S. but internationally as well understand the incredibility of these "mainstream" propaganda channels. It is only fitting that they would "point the proverbial finger" elsewhere for this is what they do so well. The only fakers are the ones who are really faking and making all the nonsensical claims about who is faking as the real fakers speak loudest in accusation. The alternative news and information can totally substantiate their journalism with real facts, the fakers only substantiate their nonsense with official lies in place of the real facts.

  3. Fuck this guy. what is this constant want to censor everything. are we putting money on this guy being a butt hurt hillary supporter?

  4. There's an obvious, massive logistical problem with this course of action: Who will be the arbiter of what news is "fake" or not? Would such a policy not pave the way for censorship of legitimate interpretations of current events that powerful, elite interests deem unacceptable?

  5. Facebook is not a reliable source of information, and neither entitled themselves like one. If you want to have an opinion on something its not how much information see is where you see it.

  6. No, The facebooks of the world should not have editorial powers over your content. I do not trust Facebook enough for that. This does not mean that we should not prevent the spreading of false content. These two options are not mutually exclusive.

    Maybe the future lies in a more democratic solution that involves us helping people who have shared liked or agreed with false news and presenting them with the truth.

  7. Practically all news is fake news these days. Whose fake news gets to masquerade as news is the debate today. Facebook is not a news organization as much as you may want it to be.

  8. it's a bad thing that fake news spreads so easily, but this is not the solution. People should be more sceptic about news, especially when you get it from facebook

  9. And who gets to decide what is real or fake when it comes to opinions? This is a bad idea. Just let people figure it out themselves and develop the wisdom to be skeptical about news sources. This would be like holding the store responsible for the information content of the newspapers.

  10. Too many folks in the comments here are equating facebook filtering out fake news as online censorship. Now, I'm super sensitive about Online censorship myself. What Youtube is trying to do, for example, with "Youtube Heroes" and an army of unpaid volunteer 'flaggers' is an example of a lazy, irresponsible filter program that will result in censorship….but if facebook actually had a paid staff (preferably with journalistic credentials), filtering out the blatantly fake, borderline schizophrenic news and websites that push it, even a small staff of this type would go a very long way, without causing noticeable censorship issues. Ya know, unless you're a nutcase, in which case a large portion of your feed may be affected….but isn't that a good thing that nutcases won't be constantly lured online by fake nonsense?

  11. Are we really surprised that Facebook doesn't care about the garbage on its platform? This is a company that had to admit to investors it was counting 3 second muted offscreen videos as having some kind of value. Oh and most of the videos are taken from Youtube. They don't care.

  12. While we are at it, lets make bar owners responsible if they allow guests to spread false news on their premises, or even better, lets ask the NSA to use their capability of screening all emails and phonecalls for falsehoods and censor them. They have this capability, right? So they have a responsibility to keep people from spreading false information. I think individual liberty is way over rated anyway. Lets scrap it.

  13. Oh look – one group of Homo sapiens telling another group of Homo sapiens what IS and IS NOT true.

    Pathetic. That sounds like a psychopathic control system. Oh wait, it IS.

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