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Facebook Disputes Gizmodo Report, Says It Never Built and Withheld Any News Feed Changes Based on Their Political Impact (slate.com) 68

Tech news site Gizmodo reported Monday that Facebook planned a News Feed update that would have identified fake or hoax news stories, but "disproportionately impacted right-wing news sites by downgrading or removing that content from people's feeds" so it chose to never release the update. Facebook has denied the claims in the report. A spokesperson told Slate: "The article's allegation is not true. We did not build and withhold any News Feed changes based on their potential impact on any one political party. We always work to make News Feed more meaningful and informative, and that includes examining the quality and accuracy of items shared, such as clickbait, spam, and hoaxes. Mark himself said, "I want to do everything I can to make sure our teams uphold the integrity of our products." This includes continuously review updates (sic) to make sure we are not exhibiting unconscious bias.
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Facebook Disputes Gizmodo Report, Says It Never Built and Withheld Any News Feed Changes Based on Their Political Impact

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  • And so does (Score:2, Insightful)

    by s.petry ( 762400 )

    CNN, ABC, MSNBC, Huffpo, and every other media outlet in the country. Lie and Deny has worked pretty well against the masses for a long time. People do eventually catch on though. Hence, just before the election 76% of people said that the US was going the wrong way, media has a 6% trustworthy rating (probably lower now). The first stat was a dead giveaway that Hillary did not have a 99.8% chance of winning as polsters proclaimed on those same media outlets.

    In fairness, there is certainly some bias in t

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In what bizarre alternate reality is Bill O'Reilly left of center?

      • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Monday November 14, 2016 @05:31PM (#53285121)

        In what bizarre alternate reality is Bill O'Reilly left of center?

        Alt-right!

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by s.petry ( 762400 )
          Nope, watching his show. There are the same Democratic talking points repeated with little to not rebuttals. Same thing with Kelly as a matter of fact. They provide enough conservatism to claim being conservative and nothing more.
          • There are the same Democratic talking points repeated with little to not rebuttals

            Is it possible those talking points are simply true, and not rebutted for that reason?

            • by s.petry ( 762400 )
              Do you mean things like wanting to secure the border and vet immigrants makes you racist and xenophobic? Deporting criminals is racist? Saying that the inner cities are hell and education is broken makes you racist? Be specific, I can prove you wrong on virtually any of the progressive talking points because Leftists refuse to look at facts.
              • Re:And so does (Score:5, Insightful)

                by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday November 14, 2016 @11:51PM (#53287129) Homepage

                Do you mean things like wanting to secure the border and vet immigrants makes you racist and xenophobic? Deporting criminals is racist? Saying that the inner cities are hell and education is broken makes you racist?

                Well those things seem like opinions all around. Probably not much worth arguing about, since logic can't get you out of what it didn't get you into. If you're getting this upset about someone else not being that upset about immigrants, then... yeah, you're probably xenophobic. Especially if that "someone else" is Bill O'Reilly. I don't know you, though. And your above statements are so vague that no sensible person would agree or dispute it without inferring a lot about your assumptions.

                We do secure our borders and vet immigrants. We could devote more resources to those things, but we could also devote less. Nobody is suggesting we completely open borders. Nobody seriously thinks we're going to completely secure them. Or... nobody serious thinks that? Similar with deporting criminals. Everyone is in favor of that, but the disagreement is over how many resources we should devote to deporting which criminals.

                Saying inner cities are hell just shows that you don't know what you're talking about. It's not racist, exactly, unless the reason you think they're hell is because you think black people live there. These days, white people love cities because many of them are pretty awesome. The more "inner" the city, the better, usually. Minorities have a tendency to get pushed into the outer city. And they're not necessarily hell. They're just poorer than the rich areas. I'm a white guy who lived in a black neighborhood for a couple years. It kinda sucked because there weren't any banks or good grocery stores, but the people were friendly.

                Education is broken? Sure, some of it is somewhat broken, at least. It's not really working. I don't think anyone is happy with it. I'm not sure what you mean to imply by bringing that up. Did someone say you were racist because you thought education needed improvement? Or did you imply that the solution was to get rid of the minorities in the school?

                So what's your point? Is it just to be angry at people and show that you have a very limited binary perspective?

              • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

                -the border is secure
                -we do vet immigrants, especially refugees, especially from Syria region
                -someone is not a criminal just because they were brought here as a child and stayed
                -inner cities are not hell
                -education is not broken, but it is underfunded, and as long as BS like the texas textbooks whitewashing (literally) slavery it will be lacking. but broken is not the word I would use, not even in the face of the massive delusions required to elect Trump

                No, you cannot prove anyone wrong because you haven't e

          • Talking points are by design political. For a news organization you don't want any talking points, either left or right. The current news media in America of any stripe is incapable of doing this, they muddle the line between news and editorializing. Fox News basically revived the old Yellow Journalism style but the other cable news networks have started copying.

            Just trying to pinpoint where various anchors stand on the issues makes you a part of the reason that the news media biases the news - they want

          • They provide enough conservatism to claim being conservative and nothing more.

            Conservatives are such easy marks. Anyone can con them into giving money.

          • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

            you are f'ing delusional.

        • That would practically make the alt-right outright fascists if one of Fox News' leading talking heads is now left-of-center.

        • by ebvwfbw ( 864834 )

          Alt-right!

          Goddam it... First they tell me about the any key.. which isn't on my keyboard.

          Now they are saying to hit alt-right? I see the alt key, there is no right key.

          Is this like the any key? The right key is the same as the any key?

          I'm here all week folks!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That's because the right leaning media litter what little news of substance they publish with outright lies and white nationalism/supremacism that no one bothers to read the few articles that are actually based on logic and truth.

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      CNN, ABC, MSNBC, Huffpo, and every other media outlet in the country. Lie and Deny has worked pretty well against the masses for a long time. People do eventually catch on though. Hence, just before the election 76% of people said that the US was going the wrong way, media has a 6% trustworthy rating (probably lower now). The first stat was a dead giveaway that Hillary did not have a 99.8% chance of winning as polsters proclaimed on those same media outlets.

      In fairness, there is certainly some bias in the little tiny bit of Right leaning media (Kelly and O'Reilly are left of center but for the sake of argument lets call them "fair"). It's so little though, very few people noticed.

      And so does Gizmodo and the other former Gawker sites still operating, which seems somewhat ironic now.

    • The first stat was a dead giveaway that Hillary did not have a 99.8% chance of winning as polsters proclaimed on those same media outlets.

      Actually it was between 60 to 80 percent depending on the time out from the vote, with it hovering near 60 towards the end. So a 2 in 3 chance. Well the dice rolled and it was 1. But hey, have a bark and ignore the underlying math if it makes you feel better, I guess.

      Kellly and O'Reilly are left of center but for the sake of argument lets call them "fair"

      Well thats one

  • Somebody may be getting sued again...

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      Somebody may be getting sued again...

      Gawker is no more (praise be the Hulkster and his buddy Thiel). Gizmodo and the other surviving Gawker sites are owned by Univision now.

  • Not too surprising (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 14, 2016 @05:33PM (#53285143)

    People that rely on fakebook for their news get exactly what they deserve. Same with people that rely on any single source for their news. Always ask yourself:

    1. Is this news or gossip? (Exactly what am I being told?)
    2. Why am I being told this?
    3. Who is telling me this?

    The answers will help you decide the truthiness of the stories.

  • A/B Testing (Score:4, Informative)

    by darkain ( 749283 ) on Monday November 14, 2016 @05:35PM (#53285155) Homepage

    BULLSHIT Facebook. My account was shoved into the A/B testing for this several months ago. Articles from known satirical web sites would be flagged as such, and this was such a praised feature at the time, too. We all got sick and fucking tired having to constantly link to Snopes or other resources to "prove" that a particular site was a satire site. The only real issue is that this system was primarily limited to just domains as a whole, so bullshit clickbaitery web sites that have marginal content once in a blue moon wouldn't be listed (Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, and similar)

  • by The-Ixian ( 168184 ) on Monday November 14, 2016 @05:36PM (#53285169)

    We did not build and withhold any News Feed changes based on their potential impact on any one political party

    What I see here is the use of "any one political party" which could mean that they didn't implement it because it was decided that it would impact all political parties or that it wasn't implemented because it would affect users (not political parties).

    I just don't trust any PR statement.... they are bound to be carefully crafted to be "true" without actually being so.

  • The was the most unbalanced election news coverage in history, with major outlets (NYT, WP, ABC, NBC, CBS) so far in the tank for Clinton and against Trump that it embarassed many old time journalists [battleswarmblog.com]:

    This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’s be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.

    So much for that. The a

    • The media reported the facts. Trump said a lot of sexist, xenophobic, racist nonsense. And the media reported it.

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        The media reported facts? Well that's debatable, very debatable. It would be like saying, the UVA rape case was factual because "Rolling Stone created a dialog." Something that many 3rd wave feminists(Valenti, Bindle, etc) like to spout. It's neither factual, or truthful. If the trust of the media is lower then congress, it's not a people problem. It's a media problem. Going by your reasoning, Clinton and Kaine said a lot of misandrist, sexist and racist things. The only difference was, the media wa

  • by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Monday November 14, 2016 @05:57PM (#53285335) Homepage Journal

    They do a fair bit of herding people and hiding content. First they determine a persons political status, then they only show you stories based on your favorites, while avoiding triggering stories. They limit/censor what posts show up in your feeds. They have multiple lawsuits on leaving hate groups that they agree with, anti-Israel, gun groups, conservative media. Its not even a guess, its already been verified by multiple media outlets.

    Everyone knows they jumped the shark, as a discussion medium it sucks.

    • Their aim is just to maximise ad revenue, and the best way to retain viewers is to affirm them. People generally hate to be told they are wrong.

      It's a free market: If your audience doesn't like the facts you are giving them, they will take their business elsewhere and find someone selling facts more to their liking.

  • Which of the two is the fake/hoax news story?

  • Perhaps there is simply a correlation between political affiliation and lying?

    • by h4x0t ( 1245872 )
      Right. Having a political affiliation tends to correlate with lying.
      • I wouldn't expect it to be just one side with another - it would depend mostly on how far from center you are. But while people might like the idea of a tidy symmetry, where left and right are equal opposites of one another, there's no reason that has to be true. It could just be that right-leaning websites tend to distort the truth more then left-leaning websites, even though the far-right and far-left extremes will both be lying continually.

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly

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