Fixing Fake News Won’t Fix Journalism

Kopitiam Bot


Fixing Fake News Won’t Fix Journalism

Scammers have become a scapegoat for the ailing press. What we really need is a deeper fix.

(Lyle Leduc / Getty Images)

Last week, Facebook’s first effort at combatting the scourge known as fake news began to appear in the wild. If a user suspects a post to be false, she can flag it. Facebook then sends it to outside fact checkers — partner organizations like Snopes, PolitiFact, and ABC News— and if at least two take issue with it, the post is labeled “disputed.”

Members of the media were, to put it mildly, not impressed. Recode’s Peter Kafka wrote about the label: “‘Disputed’ makes it sound like a bar debate about the NBA’s MVP, not ‘story made up from whole cloth.’”

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He’s right. Facebook’s steps toward eliminating falsehoods on its platform are so far meager; they lack nuance…

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