Your Voice: Is Facebook responsible for filtering “Fake News”?

 

Facebook has been getting a lot of heat lately for allowing the sharing of “Fake News” to spread amongst it’s users. Even Pres. Barack Obama has come out and expressed his distaste for fake news on Facebook.

This news was brought to the forefront when a BuzzFeed article went viral claiming to have “identified more than 100 pro-Trump websites” that were publishing fake news stories in order to cash in on the advertising money from the page clicks.

Since then, Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has addressed the issue on his own Facebook Page, acknowledging that Facebook is aware of the issue by saying things like “Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes. The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics. Overall, this makes it extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other.”

In the follow up post, Zuckerberg gave an update about the steps they are taking in order to screen out the fake news that is spread. “We believe in giving people a voice, which means erring on the side of letting people share what they want whenever possible…. We do not want to be arbiters of truth ourselves, but instead rely on our community and trusted third parties.” He then went on to explain what the company’s plan is to limit the spreading of fake news on it’s platform.

All of this begs the question- Is it Facebook’s duty to censor out fake news, or is the responsibility of the reader to be able to decipher real news from fake new? It could also be asked what Facebook’s role was in the Trump victory and if it actually played a part in his election.

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