Facebook’s struggle to remove “fake news” is getting one step closer to its final goal. The social media giant and Germany are now cooperating on filtering perceived “fake news.” While this sound like a good thing at first, we’ll explain why it may have a lot of negative effects.
Fakebook and The News
“Fake news” used to be a self-explanatory term. Back in the good ol’ days of the Internet, fake news used to be stuff like “Scientist report a revolutionary method of bodybuilding.” Now, fake news is heavily politicized, with hoax stories going from all sides of the political spectrum. These news will often try to propagate political or world views.
The term gets even more loaded when politicians started using it as a smear tactic. “Fake news” began to get implemented for every kind of unethical reporting, not just the usual obvious hoaxes. We can agree that the majority of mainstream media is more interested in advancing their own agenda, rather than reporting correctly. That makes things very difficult, as people are now very prone to claiming that news from their opposite political systems is “fake news.”
Now we can get back to Facebook and Germany. The problem of the site’s newfound ability to remove articles deemed “fake” arises from the blurred definition of the term and the connection between state and media. Facebook has reportedly cooperated with the communist Chinese government on censorship tools, and countless privacy scandals. Their track record is very shady. That is why their ability to remove “fake news” from seems a bit questionable, especially when we consider the government tie. It’s possible that everything that’s against the government may be considered “fake news.”
Facebook’s Content Struggle
The government’s desire to get rid of “fake news” matches Facebook’s alleged goal to make their site better for users. While that goal may be admirable, the way they go about it is absolutely wrong and dangerous. Facebook is making tons of money as it is. The company is the undisputed leader of the social media market, but if they continue to walk the path of privacy violation and government lackeying, that may change fast.