It’s all Facebook’s fault!

Facebook’s failure: did fake news and polarized politics get Trump elected?
The company is being accused of abdicating its responsibility to clamp down on fake news stories and counter the echo chamber that defined this election

And this is actually a serious problem. No, not the one they’re complaining about, what they want to sdo abouit it. Because, essentially, they are about to insist that Facebook must be censored. Sure, they say edited, curated, but they mean censored.

So how do you break it? Menczer says the solution is to create a filter. Before social media, the filter was provided by media companies, who acted as gatekeepers to the news and had staff trained in fact-checking and verifying information. In an age of budget cuts in traditional media, and the rise of clickbait and race-to-the-bottom journalism, standards have slipped across the board.

Sorry, filtered, not censored.

21 thoughts on “It’s all Facebook’s fault!”

  1. had staff trained in fact-checking and verifying information.

    Did the grauniad writer type that with a straight face?

    In an age of budget cuts in traditional media, and the rise of clickbait and race-to-the-bottom journalism, standards have slipped across the board.

    And did they just admit their own (already low) standards have fallen?

  2. From what I’ve seen of “fake news reports” on facebook (admittedly, not a lot) they were almost exclusively targetted against Trump.

  3. Look, most of my Facebook friends areLabour supporters or members. They flood Facebook with THEIR stories, which do -t get filtered and wo’t ever be filtered. Because this is about silencing opponents of the left. This is a common theme over the past two days in various guises. One Guardian female writer after another has called for the misogynists (ie. those men who didn’t vote with me) to be “called out”(meaning shouted down, silenced) or not to be “indulged” (meaning told to shut up or else). They don’t like the result of the election because they don’t like elections full stop.

  4. But as in your other post, supply chases demand. So if the left get their way a new platform will emerge, and Facebook will become as popular as the Guardian.

  5. I’ve seen a few articles since the results saying the media were just too fair and balanced, that they were wrong to treat Trump with the equal reverence they gave to Clinton and wrong to have mentioned the leaked emails and other investigations.

    If you start a media post-mortem from such a biased position you’ll only ever get the answer you want not the answer that is right.

  6. But Facebook is already heavily censored — remember the revelations from just a month or so ago about how the staff they employ to look after the newsfeed-type elements routinely edit it to present the left in a more favourable light?

  7. Facebook has a news feed? I don’t think I’ve noticed, all I ever see are posts from my friends and rubbish about “ten worst civil engineering fails”.

  8. We all definitely get better at spotting the bullshit and there’s a whole ecosystem on FB and YT and blogd de-bunking dodgy stuff. Yes i expect in 20 years it will be on a more organised basis but just let it evolve for heaven’s sake and resist the urge to tinker with a sledgehammer.

  9. ‘wrong to have mentioned the leaked emails and other investigations.’

    Funny. They DIDN’T mention them, now they question their mentioning them. Reality has no affect on them.

    Their naval gazing denies objectivity. Trump won; why should they care?

  10. Actually it was the MSM, newspapers and social media that got Trump elected, they wouldn’t stop talking about him.

    All day long, Trump this, Trump that, Trump did this, Trump did that, Trump said this, Trump said that, Trump, Trump, Trump, Clinton, Trump, Trump, Trump, day after day after day

    They wouldn’t shut TF up about him.

    If Hillary had sacrificed a live baby on stage the headlines all over all of the media would have been Trump, Trump, Trump ate my hamster, Trump, Trump.

    Has anybody seen Clinton since her speech, has she been mentioned anywhere at all ?

  11. Mal Reynolds (Serenity)

    Yeah this demands a.. “wait.. what?!” These utter loons, after unbelievable media bias AGAINST Trump, after Zuckerberg coming out in support for Hillary, after finding that Facebook employs people to edit the news feed (who then edit it to present the left in a favourable light), decide that the issue was Facebook was too much PRO-Trump?!

    And “Fake News Stories”. Like Trump being a child rapist? Oh no… I suspect they mean any article detailing one of Hillary’s many many scandals that happened to leak through the existing filter. Scandals that were mostly 100% accurate given that they came directly from Podesta’s emails.

    For the left “fits the narrative” = TRUE. “Does not fit the narrative” = FALSE.

  12. Facebook?

    They cannot be serious.

    Like others above, I have seen nothing on Farcebook for weeks except endless SJW’s and Snowflakes ranting about how Trump eats babies for breakfast etc etc.

    Are they really suggesting that this made it MORE likely he’d win? Srsly?

  13. I saw the same thing yesterday Gareth, how the media had indulged Trump and been too fair to him etc.
    Wondered just how deluded you would have to be to believe that, but then I had a project manager tell me he was genuinely concerned that Trump could start a nuclear war because he’s irrational and now there’s no one to stop him.
    Frankly it’s getting beyond funny as to how nuts people have become

  14. BniC:I had a project manager tell me he was genuinely concerned that Trump could start a nuclear war.

    You might ask him for a critical path analysis.

  15. The parallels between the U.K.’s shocking approval of the Brexit referendum in June and the U.S.’ even more shocking election of Donald Trump as president last night are overwhelming.
    Elites (outside of populist right-wing circles) aggressively unified across ideological lines in opposition to both. Supporters of Brexit and Trump were continually maligned by the dominant media narrative (validly or otherwise) as primitive, stupid, racist, xenophobic, and irrational.
    In each case, journalists who spend all day chatting with one another on Twitter and congregating in exclusive social circles in national capitals — constantly re-affirming their own wisdom in an endless feedback loop — were certain of victory.
    Afterward, the elites whose entitlement to prevail was crushed devoted their energies to blaming everyone they could find except for themselves, while doubling down on their unbridled contempt for those who defied them, steadfastly refusing to examine what drove their insubordination.

    Glenn Greenwald has an interesting take.

  16. Ben S,

    It’s a single finger over here. My understanding is that the two fingered insult is based on the German response to V for victory. My response to that is to raise two fingers, palm outward, confusing them with out peace sign.


    I took the time to send MotherJones and email pointing out that. I also pointed out that as I knew the general context of the article would be highly negative I didn’t bother to read it or even read the full headline. This meant that the only word I really remembered from my visit to their site was Trump so it appeared to me that they supported him. I then offered the solution that more positive Clinton material should be feature or that stories about 3rd parties likely to take voters from Trump, like Castle or McMullin, could be used if they couldn’t find good Clinton news to report on.

    Perhaps it was the last line. It could be that I use an obvious disposable email that didn’t make it passed their spam filters. As I didn’t get a response I tried mentioning it in the comments section. That was roundly shot down. It just goes to prove that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.

  17. Facebook doesn’t need a filter. What it needs is competition that enough people actually use. I blame poor consumer choice for ending up in an echo chamber that betrayed them.

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