The explosion of chaotic Web 2.0, with all its avenues for user-generated content. is producing a strong backlash.
The alleged propagation of propaganda by Russian agents is providing an opportunity for implementing new strategies for policing:
Deepa Seetharaman (Dec. 15, 2016). Facebook Inches Closer to Fact-Checking Its News. The Wall Street Journal, http://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-plans-to-demote-fake-news-on-its-site-1481824802Although I acknowledge that not all information is equal, and the deliberate propagation of falsehoods is concerning, I worry still more about the centralization of decision making about what information can be allowed to be disseminated across Internet platforms.
Facebook Inc. is inching closer to fact-checking the news on its platform, a role that Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg shunned a month ago, by rolling out steps to weed out “the worst of the worst,” the social media platform said on Thursday.
Facebook said it has identified several markers of sites that consistently peddle fake news, and it will demote posts from those sites in people’s news feeds.
It is also outsourcing the delicate task of determining whether individual stories are true or false to a few external organizations and tweaking its news feed algorithm based on their rulings. It is unusual for Facebook to entrust outsiders with this much power to influence the way posts are played in the news feed, the central stream of information that is customized for each user by Facebook’s algorithm.