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Facebook's 'Journalism Project' Seeks To Strengthen Online News ( 119

Facebook is taking more responsibility over its role in the media industry. CNET reports on the company's announcement: The social network on Wednesday announced a new initiative called the Journalism Project, which seeks to put Facebook on steadier footing with the news industry. As part of the effort, the social network will work to help train journalists on how to use Facebook as a reporting tool and assist the public in figuring out how to sniff out misinformation. "We know that our community values sharing and discussing ideas and news," Fidji Simo, director of product for the project, wrote in a blog post. "And as a part of our service, we care a great deal about making sure that a healthy news ecosystem and journalism can thrive." The initiative is part of an about-face for Facebook, which for a long time shrugged off its influence on the news and downplayed the impact of misinformation circulated on Facebook on the 2016 presidential election. The company is now acknowledging the significant role it plays in the consumption of news online, along with its ability to shape journalism's future.
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Facebook's 'Journalism Project' Seeks To Strengthen Online News

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  • by fishscene ( 3662081 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @04:53PM (#53650031)
    So Fake News is the culprit for influencing the election? Fake news has *always* influenced the election. Anywho, I know of at least one person who offered their opinion on Facebook (that doesn't necessarily follow social views) and linked to articles supporting their opinion. Their account has been banned from posting for 60 days. Based on this, It's not necessarily fake news the puppet masters are after. It's censorship. America. Land of the Censored, Home of the Unaware.
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by ClickOnThis ( 137803 )

      I know of at least one person who offered their opinion on Facebook (that doesn't necessarily follow social views) and linked to articles supporting their opinion. Their account has been banned from posting for 60 days.

      Based on this, It's not necessarily fake news the puppet masters are after. It's censorship.

      Your one single data-point, based on an anecdote of someone else's experience, and devoid of further details, is hardly enough for the rest of us to conclude that it's "censorship."

      America. Land of the Censored, Home of the Unaware.

      Before you get too righteous and entitled, remind yourself that Facebook is not the government, and you don't pay for their service. They can set terms of service, and ban people for breaking them.

    • Fake news has *always* influenced the election.

      Back in the 60s and 70s, there would be politician lackey's who would call down the voter list, and tell people that one of the candidates was a communist. These are old tricks.

    • America. Land of the Censored, Home of the Unaware.

      How about if you just draw conclusions about Facebook and not the nation?

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      A perfect storm of fake news sites in it for the money with clickbait headlines, and Russia carefully leaking stuff on Clinton and the DNC.

      I think we are now starting to see just how influential Russia was. Lots of pro-Russia people in the White House, and a reminder to Trump this week that he had better do what Putin tells him to because they have plenty of material on him too. It's kinda ironic that the guy who bragged about grabbing women by the pussy has now been grabbed by the balls by Putin.

      • by dave420 ( 699308 )

        Not to mention the amount of Russian oligarch involvement with Trump's business, which he won't cede, causing a massive conflict of interest, which is somehow just peachy.

  • This would benefit both FB and an organization like Snopes. When a story or link is shared, if the text checks out by some fact-checking source that is reputable, the story would get some type of icon showing that it is not pure garbage. If it is text, then it would be cryptographically signed somehow, so changing something in the story would make the icon disappear.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Snopes, reputable. HaHa.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ClickOnThis ( 137803 )

        Snopes, reputable. HaHa.

        Kindly suggest alternatives.

        IMHO, if a fact-checking organization has received both praise and scorn from representatives across the political spectrum, then it has an air of credibility.

        But note that the number of time such praise or scorn is expressed may be unbalanced, if one side respects the truth less than the other.

        • YOUTUBE (Score:5, Informative)

          by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @05:40PM (#53650291) Homepage

          I find YouTube to be the best fact checker.

          The media claimed that Trump mocked a disabled reporter, or more to the point, that Trump mocked a reporter for his disability. Trump did in fact mock a reporter who is disabled. However, there are videos on youtube that will show you that those body movements of his are used regularly, not for mocking disabilities but to personify his view of someone who doesn't have an answer.

          Most of the mainstream media also claimed that Donald Trump said soldiers that commit suicide are weak. He said no such thing. Go to youtube and watch the actual speech. He was discussing the lack of care available for our veterans, particularly the lack of mental healthcare. He was discussing triggers, and our soldiers being left without the support they deserved. Every soldier and veteran I know who watched that video loved it. In fact, it was the first, and almost the only time I watched Donald Trump and thought to myself that he looked presidential.

          Watch MSNBC, they'll show you protestors at a Tea Party rally outside one of President Obama's townhall meetings. They'll show you a man carrying an AR-15 on his back. They'll state how this is intimidating and seemingly rather racist. Go to youtube and you'll find the another video of that same rally. Except this video will clearly show the man in question with an AR-15 strapped to his back is in fact a black American.

          So me, conservatives are very aware of how fake most of the mainstream news is. Liberals on the other hand are stuck thinking the only fake news is Fox/Faux News. Well, it is fairly fake. But it doesn't have the market nor is it even close to being top dog.

          • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

            Searching desperately for a video somewhere, anywhere, that allows you to continue to continue to believe the way you already do is not "fact-checking". In fact, its pretty much the opposite. Its more like "re-bunking".

      • by nobuddy ( 952985 )

        I see this a lot. So I offer the same challenge.

        Link me to a single false article, with the evidence of why it is false. And remember- you disliking the facts does not make them false. Bias is not false, either. False is false. So all you have to do is show the evidence that proves the Snopes article wrong.
        Also not- evidence does not mean that it was popular with blogs and memes. Evidence means if the claim is someone said X, and there is proof that it they actually said Y- show that proof, not just repeati

    • I have also noticed an interesting trend recently. A number of political articles on Snopes and fact check sites, where the conservative viewpoint or statement was in fact CORRECT. And they even discuss the evidence of such. But interestingly enough, in several of these cases the fact check articles NEVER post a conclusion. They don't include their "True or False" meters, etc.

      And I have wondered, why is it that these articles where either the criticism of a conservative is debunked or the criticism of a

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      A team of SJW will ban what they don't like politically and what the majority shareholders request them to ban. Then add in different nations ban requests?
      US politics vs a SJW that can ban links?
      Blasphemy? No funny cartoons that upset any faith.
      Germany? No questioning open boarders and illegal migrants.
      A monarchies or kingdoms human rights record? No linking.
      A kingdom at war? No links.
      Selling weapons to a kingdom at war? ...
      No jokes about a long list of topics thanks to a few powerful SJW teams
  • by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @04:57PM (#53650055) Journal
    Facebook's problem isn't only with misinformation. Their filters [] are likely responsible for the increased partisanship [] in America and around the world.

    I personally feel fixing the filters would do a great deal to stop the spread of fake news.
    • by ezdiy ( 2717051 )
      It's interesting how the polarizing emergence of PC and neoreactionary extremes roughly correlates with the time fb started to bias post order according to personal bubbles (facebook started forcing "algorithmic feed" in 2010). Could be mere coincidence, then again, it may be not. In which case, censoring hoaxes would be merely cosmetic band aid, doing nothing to fix the spiral of ignorance facebook could be causing in the first place.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    that they care that only the right kind of propaganda reaches the audience, and that inconvenient truths etc. are labeled as "misinformation".

  • ^subject.

    By that rationale the Chinese "Great Firewall" is also China taking responsibility into what content their people can consume or not consume. If anyone thinks Facebook filters will be objective and accurate, they should pay more attention to history classes.

    (Now then again I don't understand why people get their news from Facebook at all, but that's a different topic)

  • if find("Russia+Hacked+Election+Trump)

  • by djchristensen ( 472087 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @05:28PM (#53650237)'s not what (most? many?) people want. They want their prefabricated beliefs to be bolstered by the "news" they consume and are very much not interested in "real news", aka facts. Just wade through the other comments here claiming FB will now just filter out everything from one end of the political spectrum in favor of the other. Those people will likely use the "fact checked" indicator as a marker of stories to avoid, since they are obviously going to be slanted and "fake".

  • "Misinformation" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @05:41PM (#53650295) Journal

    I'll start to believe this hoo-ha about "fake news" being a SERIOUS effort to raise the standards of journalism when I see one reputable mainstream outlet reporting that 'hands up don't shoot' in Ferguson was ALSO 'fake news'.

    Until then, it's just "my party lost" biased after-election whinging.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      "Hands up don't shoot" wasn't fake news, it was something that witnesses actually said and which people used in actual protests. Reporting it as such was completely factual. Similarly, Buzzfeed's report on pissgate isn't fake news either, because they are reporting on an unsubstantiated report that was leaked and not presenting it as anything more.

      "Witnesses said the man shouted 'hands up don't shoot'" - not fake news
      "The man said "hands up don't shoot" - fake news

      Fake news is when sites either make stuff u

  • by BigBuckHunter ( 722855 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2017 @05:53PM (#53650365)
    1: Weaken the integrity of the field of journalism by up-feeding fake news. 2: Promise to strengthen the integrity of journalism for money. 3: Profit.
  • Now our fake news is called ads that pay to post it

  • or is it?

    Nobody knows for sure!

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain