Facebook Proves It Isn't Ready To Handle Fake News


During yesterday's session, Su argued that Infowars operates in a gray area — often toeing the line of provably false but not always crossing it — and, according to CNN, suggested that the company was focusing its takedown efforts on outlets that "can be proven beyond a doubt to be demonstrably false."

Lost in Su's explanation is the fact that this gray area is part of what makes Infowars' conspiracy and false information machine so effective. By offering baseless theories with a kernel of truth and then distorting and sensationalizing them in bad faith, Jones is able to spread misinformation and then retreat from it with little penalty. Similarly, Infowars' ability to abut community standards without flagrantly crossing them (for example, baselessly suggesting that experts argue Sandy Hook may have been a hoax, rather than asserting it himself) allows the outlet to inject false news into Facebook's ecosystem.


In a follow-up statement to CNN, a Facebook spokesperson clarified that it still might choose to downrank Infowars content. “We allow people to post it as a form of expression, but we're not going to show it at the top of News Feed," the spokesperson said. But this sort of shadow censorship likely does little for those who seek out Infowars content or those who share it. And it does little to stop the nearly 1 million users who subscribe to the page from accessing the content.

The problem is that Facebook's good faith effort to combat misinformation while attempting to remain nonbiased and without censorship simply doesn't work against an entity operating in bad faith. In the case of Jones and Infowars, Facebook allows itself to be played by an outlet operating by a different set of rules.

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Source : https://www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/facebook-not-ready-to-handle-fake-news