Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Facebook employees reportedly forming secret ‘task force’ to address fake news
Mark Zuckerberg may not care that much about the fake news stories run amok on Facebook, but some employees within his company appear to have very different views.
According to BuzzFeed News, “more than dozens” of employees have organized a secret “task force” that intends to create and deliver a series of recommendations to Facebook leadership on what the company can do about its fake news problem.
“It’s not a crazy idea” that fake news on Facebook had an impact on the election, an anonymous member of the task force tells BuzzFeed News. “What’s crazy is for [Zuckerberg] to come out and dismiss it like that, when he knows, and those of us at the company know, that fake news ran wild on our platform during the entire campaign season.”
It’s rare to hear of so much organized dissent from within a company, and it’s worth reading through BuzzFeed’s article for all the details. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.
With criticism now coming from both in and outside the company, it’s going to be increasingly difficult for Facebook to continue to ignore its problem with fake news. An article in Gizmodo yesterday indicated that Facebook may already have the technology needed to deal with the problem but has decided against using it for fear of a conservative backlash. Facebook denied that this was true.
Facebook has previously issued statements writing off the notion that it could have meaningfully affected the election, with Zuckerberg called the suggestion “crazy.” The New York Times, however, indicated that top officials within Facebook may be more receptive to these concerns.