By: Eric Turmelle
Early this afternoon, Facebook announced details regarding their plan to tackle the fake news problems that have recently surfaced. Some credit Fake News as one of the major contributing factors to Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. election. During the last few weeks of the campaign, stories such as “Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President” and “FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead of Apparent Murder-Suicide” spread like wildfire through social media. The aforementioned stories were not only completely false, but the “source” of the content, the “Denver Guardian” is not even a legitimate news outlet.
Facebook plans to develop an algorithm that will automatically detect Fake News, and remove it from the site before it is even posted. Users will be warned a few times, and then eventually banned from the site if too many repeat offences are detected. Facebook confirmed that it will be partnering up with the Chinese government to develop these algorithms.
“When it comes to content management [censorship], China is light-years ahead of us,” said Facebook president Mark Zuckerberg in a press conference just a few hours ago, “Without their assistance, it would take many years to develop the content control algorithms we are looking for. With their assistance, this will take a mere few months.”
He continued “When users see content posted on Facebook, I want them to be confident it’s the truth. Users should not be expected to verify sources using other sites. Facebook should be the only source of content our users need, and with the help of the Chinese, we can make this a reality.”
While the future of internet censorship in North America is still uncertain, large sites such as Facebook will likely have an influence on others. While it is important to verify sources, censorship should be used with caution, as –CONTENT REDACTED–