UnNews:Facebook set to tag "fake news"
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21 August 2014
UnNews Senior Editor Morris Greeley said the move threatens legitimate news reporting. "How will Facebook decide what is satire? What is a respected source such as UnNews to do when this megacorporation impugns our integrity?" He notes that Facebook filters information on user's pages according to secret algorithms. Facebook users, for instance, were unaware of the riots in Ferguson, Missouri until they checked their tweets.
Fake-news sites have proliferated. A typical one may boast more than a quarter of a million Facebook shares, an amount that often requires a stockbroker. As that information spreads, it takes on the pall of truth faster than a pack-a-day smoker. Recent hoaxes have asserted that President Obama is "heartbroken" about ISIS terrorists slitting a journalist's throat and that Texas governor Rick Perry has been accused of a crime.
The media has proposed regular fact-checks of internet shenanigans. But the Obama proposal, early this year, to station an FCC "observer" in newsrooms met with howls from the Tea Party movement. An alternative from Canada — better education to ensure people have the critical thinking skills to understand and question what they read online — was met with howls of another sort.
"This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Facebook does the thinking for you"
- "Facebook begins tagging fake-news sites as 'satire'". South China Morning Post, August 21, 2014