Tag Archives: Facebook

Did Facebook Undermine its Anti-Fake-News Narrative by Enlisting Uber-Partisan David Brock?

After Hillary Clinton’s surprising fall from grace, longtime Clinton loyalist David Brock staged a Democratic Party revival pitch-session in Florida over inauguration weekend. Within a week, the Washington Free Beacon published a copy of a “briefing book” from the Florida retreat, revealing Brock’s claim that his progressive non-profit outlet, Media Matters, was “engaging with Facebook leadership” to offer a solution to the purported fake news epidemic.

If Brock’s boast is true, then it presents a serious problem.

A man with a suspect ethical worldview, Brock has an undeniable knack for “saturating the airwaves” with spin and an equally undeniable handicap when it comes to being politically neutral. He is so virulently partisan that he quit the board of his own government watchdog, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, when Bush-administration ethics lawyer Richard Painter joined.

Simply put, if it’s true that Facebook went to Media Matters to find the antidote for fake news, then it shows that Mark Zuckerberg either doesn’t care that David Brock is an unabashedly biased Democratic operative, doesn’t care that he has admitted to disseminating misinformation, or both.

Continue reading at Townhall.

Becoming China’s Surveillance Software Designer Is Consistent With Facebook’s Dangerous Authoritarian Progression

Authoritarian states, hungry for data on dissenters’ habits and eager for new methods of censorship, salivate at the surveillance capabilities of Facebook. And as the social network’s user base approaches one-third of the world’s population, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has evinced a happy willingness to help the authoritarians in their cause.

Over the Thanksgiving week, anonymous sources at Facebook revealed that the tech corporation has developed a content-suppression program which can be used by Chinese authorities to control viewable subject matter.

As Facebook continues to expand, its dedication to corporatized nanny-monitoring may turn it into the Skynet of our age: an all-encompassing technology whose power is restrained only when the program itself decides not to exert that power. By the by, the exercise of such a power has the tremendous potential to amplify the hollow one-mindedness of social media’s homogenous, politically correct user base.

Considering that Facebook may someday reach half the world’s population, its selective smothering of content, ranging from censoring the controversial, for example images of the Prophet Muhammed, to the historical, such as pictures of the Vietnam War, means it will have absolute power over what half the world watches and reads. When Facebook responds to Chinese pressure to censor controversial images like the self-immolation of a Tibetan monk, the concern over its reach is worsened by the realization that China’s oppressors have the ear of Mark Zuckerberg.

Continue reading at Forbes.

Facebook Doesn’t Want to Be Your News Source, And They Don’t Have to Be

Facebook doesn’t want you to get news from them. Wednesday, Facebook announced that new changes to the News Feed would change how content is presented and what content gets priority.

The new News Feed will prioritize content and posts from people on your friends list over content from pages you like or trending posts. USA Today brought up the point that “publishers and news outlets, who rely on Facebook users to click on their content and generate ad revenue, may suffer the most with the change.”

These changes come in the wake of the allegations against Facebook for showing political bias in their Trending Topics bar.

People have been relying on Facebook for their news for many years. The Pew Research Center tackled this in a study that showed that 30% of Americans use Facebook as their primary news source. Although many have been using Facebook this way, it was not necessarily the intent of Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of the Facebook executive team.

Chris Cillizza from the Washington Post complained that “[p]rioritizing news content based on what your friends either like or share furthers the siloing of our news consumption. The people you are friends with on Facebook are, in 99 out of 100 cases these days, people with whom you share a common worldview.” What Cillizza fails to realize is that Facebook isn’t out to educate the masses and challenge your principles.

The announcement by Facebook’s Vice President of Product Management Adam Mosseri included thoughts on the purpose of Facebook. Mosseri stated that “We are not in the business of picking which issues the world should read about. We are in the business of connecting people and ideas — and matching people with the stories they find most meaningful.” While some may be upset at the new changes, the changes themselves are more in line with the vision that Facebook and Mosseri have for their company.

There have been claims that Facebook is ruining the prominence of news on their platform by implementing these changes. What many fail to understand is that Facebook is not a news outlet. They’re not even a compilation of news stories from elsewhere on the web. These changes aren’t meant to be censoring content or promoting bias towards one position or the other.

The case, however, must be made in support of Facebook, even if they did pick and choose what content to allow on your feed. Since Facebook never claimed to be a news source or outlet, they are at the liberty to determine what content shows up on their site, regardless of how influential they are in society. If consumers have a problem with non-news outlet Facebook dropping news content from their feed, maybe it’s time they find a real newsource.