In the past, Facebook has had its own ways of dealing with the handling of any fake news. Its own in-house editors would check the credibility of resources, and they would also make sure that a political balance was kept throughout their published content.
Unfortunately, this system appeared to had failed its purpose when it was challenged by complaints from US conservatives claiming political bias over the choice of resources for the information passed to the ‘trending section’ of the website, back in August 2016.
Fake news had the perfect opportunity to infiltrate the world of social media after the firm decided to do away with all of its human editors and started using algorithms in their place. This decision unfortunately allowed more false news stories to be fed through to the platform’s content and marked the beginning of the recognition of the fake news problem.
In June, Facebook closed its ‘trending section’, in an attempt to improve its fact-checking and resources. This also made more room for content created by family and friends, boosting the prominence of these stories, which was an additional goal within Facebook’s new priorities.
As a consequence of these news credibility issues and the accusations of a possible lack of political balance, the firm is now trying tackle the problem by recruiting new team members to spot fake news and combat any misinformation.
Facebook has also changed its previous job criteria and description in order to find the best candidates to help tackle fake news.
The revised offer calls for specialists who would not only work on improving the credibility of news on the site, but also ensure that the political balance of all resources was maintained.
The ‘’new fake news warriors”, who would be working at Facebook’s main offices, should make a significant difference in the ongoing fake news battles. The advertised role is to be a primary news source researcher, and to build a list of credible organisations that can be used for new stories. Some of these new specialists will also be required to be fluent in Spanish.
Facebook has stated that every effort is being made to make rapid progress on this issue, and that it will continue to develop further initiatives to boost its fake news and hoax checking capabilities throughout 2018, and these new specialist roles will certainly help with that.
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