Facebook, Google Takes Action To Combat Fake News Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has come out not once, but twice, to address the issue of fake news
Since Donald Trump’s election victory, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has come out not once, but twice, to address the issue of fake news, inaccurate or simply false information that appears on the Web in the guise of journalism. Zuckerberg made his remarks at the Techonomy 16 media conference and then on his own Facebook page. He said the idea that fake news on his platform influenced the election in any way is “a pretty crazy idea.” But a former employee, Antonio Garcia-Martinez, disagrees and says his old boss is being “more than a little disingenuous here.” Garcia-Martinez, who has written a book about the company called Chaos Monkeys, was hired to help lead Facebook’s efforts to target ads. He says his ad team used to joke: It would be so easy to throw an election, just by showing vote reminders to select counties. It was a joke. But his point is, Facebook has real potential power.
“There’s an entire political team and a massive office in D.C. that tries to convince political advertisers that Facebook can convince users to vote one way or the other,” Garcia-Martinez says. “Then Zuck gets up and says, ‘Oh, by the way, Facebook content couldn’t possibly influence the election.’ It’s contradictory on the face of it.” Facebook makes money by selling ad space inside its news feed. It also makes money as a broker between its advertisers and other online companies. But the company did not address the reality that if fake news lands in the Facebook news feed, the company makes money from the eyeballs it draws. This is not a theoretical issue. Take a look at these examples of viral fake news, compiled by Snopes.com.