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domingo, 11 de diciembre de 2016
Fact checkers to Facebook: Fight fake news
The social-media network has come under withering criticism for allowing the dissemination of egregiously fake stories during the campaign.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, after first scoffing that fake news helped swing the election to Donald Trump, has pledged to “take misinformation seriously."
The country's most prominent fact checkers fought a losing battle against the flood of fake news during the presidential campaign. Now, they say, they have one great hope for preventing an even greater wave of propaganda masquerading as news: Facebook.
Fact checkers say they need the social network in their corner as Donald Trump, a frequent purveyor of misinformation himself, prepares to inherit the White House — and, with it, the world's biggest megaphone.
Facebook has come under withering criticism for allowing the dissemination of egregiously fake stories during the campaign, with widely shared headlines falsely reporting that Pope Francis had endorsed Trump’s candidacy and that an FBI agent involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation was dead in a murder-suicide. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, after first scoffing that fake news helped swing the election to Trump, has pledged to “take misinformation seriously," though he gave no timeline for action and warned about the dangers of his company becoming an arbiter of the truth.
But fact-check organizations — which diligently reported lies and exaggerations during the campaign, only to see their work overshadowed by false headlines — argue that only Facebook has the reach and influence to address the free flow of fake news. And they are pushing the company to make changes now, as the weeks tick down to Trump's inauguration.
"Facebook has completely turbo-powered fake news sites," says Alexios Mantzarlis, director and editor of the Poynter Institute's International Fact-Checking Network. "But it's also probably the first platform that could measure how these things spread, and how we could push back."