Facebook’s New Fake News Feature in Dispute Already
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
Airing date: 03/08/2017
Facebook’s New Fake News Feature in Dispute Already
Craig Peterson: Hi, Craig Peterson here. Of course, I got another bit of a TechSanity check from Florida. I’m out on the road using my mobile equipment here so it’s not gonna sound as good as the studio. But, you know, I appreciate you being with me here. So I use my Shure SM58 and I’ve got my TASCAM recorder here in front of me sitting here in the room instead of enjoying the nice outdoors here. It’s much warmer than it is in the Northeast. Well as promised yesterday, today we are going to talk about a whole new feature in Facebook that’s already in dispute. Stick around here it goes.
Facebook has a new feature. You know we’ve heard all about fake news. President Trump’s been talking about fake news all of the time. I turn on the TV and I shake my head at the major news networks because so much of what they have is fake news. Some of it these guys are making up. So they’re taking it, many times, from the internet where people are making it up. And that gets to be a real problem for all of us. How can you tell what news is real? Most people don’t do anything further than just have a quick look at what is on their news feed. And you know, frankly, that’s not enough. We have to not only know what’s on the news feed. And the headline, right? How many people read more than just the headline? You look at retweets over on Twitter and the average is somewhere around 40% of the times someone retweets an article. They never even look at the article, to begin with.
So people aren’t going into this. They’re not digging into the background. They don’t understand what’s really going on here. Well, Facebook has decided, Hey listen. We are the new media. That is certainly what is happening with Mark Zuckerberg and his people. They want to be the media. They wanna be the place you go for your news. And nowhere else. And that’s becoming more and more of a problem as the real media out there doesn’t have the funding. They don’t have the ability to do the type of research they used to do. So they’re just taking the easy way. You know Rush Limbaugh used to joke that he was so prepped for the evening news and you know it wasn’t untrue, right? He was just kinda teasing them because there’s an interesting cycle here. What appeared on radio, on Russian… on couple of other shows, now this is a couple of years ago, was again used for the evening news. And much of what Russia was talking about came from the newspaper in the morning. The morning newspaper. So it was kind of a cycle all day long.
Today, of course, those newspapers, many of them don’t exist anymore. How many newspapers actually have a morning and/or afternoon edition anymore? It’s almost none. So, people in the news business are getting some of their, and in fact in some cases, much of their information straight from the internet. So they go to Reddit channels, they have a look there. They’ll have a look at just basically everywhere and anywhere online. Now that’s a bit of a problem here because what are they getting? You’re getting someone’s opinion that may not be actual fact much of the time. So now, how do you verify it, right? You’re sitting there, you’ve got a problem. If I spend the time to verify this more, right? I’ll do a little bit of lightweight verification, but if I really want to dig into it, if I’m gonna call the sources and see if those sources will confirm what was said, I might miss the scoop because it’s all about being first, isn’t it on the internet? It’s about being first on Twitter. It’s about being first on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on all of these websites. So they’re going to rush to market with stories that maybe aren’t fully flushed out yet. They may read well. They may have some good information in them. But they may not. It may be just totally fake stuff.
So Facebook has decided that since they’re source of news nowadays that they are going to arbitrate what people are saying on Facebook. Now what’s really funny to me is Facebook is going to Snopes and Politifact to find out whether a story is valid or fake news. Now I laugh at that. I absolutely laugh because Politifact and Snopes are both known to be left-wing organizations. Now, you know, that doesn’t mean that they’re lying. Although they might be. But they’re going to take a left-wing view of things. You know, the way you think, the way you interpret is really the news, right? The news, what we talk about is what other people think is important, not necessarily us. And it goes into a concept called gaslighting, which is a big problem in certain circles. But if the news is reporting on it, it becomes important. It’s just like this whole “The Russians hacked the elections” thing. There’s no evidence the Russians hacked it. If the Russians hacked it, there would be no evidence the Russians hacked it, right?
So where is this all coming from? Well, we can trace it back quite easily to the leaked emails from the DNC where they said, hey. If anything happens let’s blame it on the Russians. So we know where it came from. But that’s not factual. It’s not true. Look at what happened with Senator Franken when he was drilling Senator Sessions in the nomination hearing that they had for Sessions. And we had Senator Franken asking questions out of a fake dossier that is known to be fake. That has been proven to be fake. That was just an exercise to show the type of stories that could come out President Trump, right? So, hey President Trump, you better watch it. Here’s the sort of stuff that might happen. And it kinda went on and on and on. And went so far as to, you know, this is a kind of a family show, I’m not gonna say. But it has to do with hookers and they bed over in Russia. And the Obamas as well. So, we have Senator Franken quoting basically chapter and first, from a fake dossier that is known to be fake, and drilling Senator Sessions in the committee room. What’s going on here? That is the definition of fake news in the US Senate, at least the Democrats have jumped on it. So when you have Snopes and you have Politifact being fact-checkers for Facebook, how good is Facebook’s new disputed tag going to be?
So, they’ve got an example here on Fortune Magazine, and you’ll find this in my show notes here with today’s show. But they’ve got this disputed tag that they’re showing here. And it says “Trump’s unsecured android device source of recent White House leaks” – The Seattle Tribune. And underneath it, it has a big red exclamation point here, you know, danger warning disputed by Snopes and Politifact. So, Facebook’s flagging links to fake sites and there are some fake sites like The Onion, that’s know to be fake. And it’s supposed to be fake, right? It’s supposed to be fun. It’s a parody site and there are some of those out there. I get that ok? I flag those because I have heard people quote The Onion as though it’s gospel truth. And it’s not just one of these funny sites, comedian sites, right? It’s like the Daily Show. That is not news, ok? That is comedy. Comedy Central is not the place for you to get your news. I can see flagging that sort of things, ok? By the way, that is a little warning to the millennials that are listening. Don’t get your news from Comedy Central, ok?
So, these organizations are going to be signatories to what has been established here as a fact checker’s code of principles. We’ll see here. There’s the journalism non-profit group called the Pointer Institute. It’s supposed to keep track of this and has these, yeah, we’ll see here, has these standards for non-partisanship and transparency. You know, all the way across the board. You know, where you’re getting your funding? Follow the money. There’s a lot of good potential here that could be done. But I just don’t know. I don’t trust this. I agree, you know, I started out by saying that I think that what Facebook is doing with trying to get rid of fake news sites by having these disputed tags. I think it might be a good thing, but I suspect it’s going to end up being a very bad thing, ok? A very, very bad thing. The http://SeattleTribune.com by the way, is just this classic click farming website that’s got a theme that kinda looks like a newspaper, but it’s not really a newspaper. It does have a description of itself as satire. Kind of like The Onion. But there are other outlets out there for supposed news that are very, very deceptive. And, you know, those might get flagged as well.
So I like that. I think those are good but when it boils right down to it, just because it came from Fox News doesn’t mean it’s correct. And just because it came from CNN, MSNBC, CNBC doesn’t mean that it’s fake, ok? And I don’t know if you saw this just a couple of days ago. Another one of these, I think it was CNN anchors on the air, crying and sobbing, that she thinks the country’s coming to an end. I don’t get that either. It’s really, I don’t know. It’s really kinda crazy.
Anyhow, you’ll find links to everything I talked about today, right here in the podcast make sure you subscribe if you haven’t subscribed already. http://CraigPeterson.com./iTunes. We are now also on Soundcloud if that’s your preferred format. We’re also on TuneIn. Just have a look at http://CraigPeterson.com and have a great day. And we’ll see you in the online world and be back tomorrow. Take care. Bye bye.
Facebook ‘Disputed News’ Tag Goes Live
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