Misinformer of the Year: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg - Media Matters
Posted: 21 December 2017 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Oh jeez, I though I was out of here, but ran straight into this, so I’m back.  It sort of fits under the Trolling thread, but I think it’s more appropriate to start a new thread, see if anyone wants to rake over Mike Zuckerberg’s mess.

Facebook’s “personalized newspaper” became a global clearinghouse for misinformation
MATT GERTZ ››› December 20, 2017

https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2017/12/20/misinformer-year-facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg/218894

Media Matters is recognizing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as 2017’s Misinformer of the Year.

He narrowly edges Larry Page, whose leadership of Google has produced similar failures in reining in misinformation. Other past recipients include the Center for Medical Progress (2015), George Will (2014), CBS News (2013), Rush Limbaugh (2012), Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. (2011), Sarah Palin (2010), Glenn Beck (2009), Sean Hannity (2008), ABC (2006), Chris Matthews (2005), and Bill O’Reilly (2004).

“Does Even Mark Zuckerberg Know What Facebook Is?” Max Read asked in an October profile for New York magazine. Rattling off statistics pointing to the dizzying reach and breadth of a site with two billion monthly active users, Read concluded that the social media platform Zuckerberg launched for his Harvard peers in 2004 “has grown so big, and become so totalizing, that we can’t really grasp it all at once.” ...

That goal of becoming its users’ personalized newspaper was assuredly in the best interest of Facebook. The company makes money due to its massive usership, so the value of any particular piece of content is in whether it keeps people engaged with the website. (Facebook reported in 2016 that users spend an average of 50 minutes per day on the platform.) But ultimately, Zuckerberg’s declaration showed that he had put his company at the center of the information ecosystem—crucial in a democracy because of its role in setting public opinion—but refused to be held accountable for the results.

That failure to take responsibility exposes another key difference between Facebook and the media companies Zuckerberg said he wanted to ape. ...

Fake news, confirmation bias, and the news feed ...

Obfuscation and false starts for enforcement

What can be done?


Hoaxes and disinformation have always been a part of human society, with each new generation enlisting the era’s dominant forms of mass communication in their service. But Facebook’s information ecosystem and news feed algorithm has proven particularly ripe for abuse, allowing fake news purveyors to game the system and deceive the public. Those bad actors know that user engagement is the major component in ensuring virality, and have engineered their content with that in mind, leading to a system where Facebook turbocharges false content from disreputable sources.

Facebook could fight back against fake news by ...


Greg Laden shared this summary, Media Matters provides the following bullet list of complaints:

http://gregladen.com/blog/2017/12/20/mark-zuckerberg-named-2017s-misinformer-year/Not only did Mark Zuckerberg allow Facebook to be used to mislead, misinform and suppress voters during the 2016 election, but he took active steps in an attempt to assuage right-wing critics that actually made the problem worse. He subsequently downplayed concerns about Facebook’s clear impact on the 2016 election. Instead of learning from those past mistakes, Zuckerberg has repeated them, continuing to act in a way designed to inoculate against or mollify right-wing critics, despite evidence that 126 million Facebook users saw election-related propaganda in 2016.

Mark Zuckerberg’s inaction and half-measures illustrate either his lack of recognition of the scope and scale of the crisis or his refusal to accept responsibility. After intense public pressure made Facebook’s misinformation problem impossible to ignore, Zuckerberg announced a series of toothless policy changes that are more public relations ploys than real meaningful solutions. Notably, little effort has been made to improve its news feed algorithm so that Facebook is not turbocharging disreputable or extreme content simply because it has high engagement, or to grapple with the scores of Facebook verified disinformation and fake news pages masquerading as news sites.

Facebook’s third-party fact-checking system doesn’t stop fake news from going viral. Fact-checkers who have partnered with Facebook have voiced their concerns about the company’s transparency and effectiveness of their efforts as Zuckerberg has largely refused to release Facebook’s data for independent review.

In yet another attempt to mollify right-wing critics, Zuckerberg’s Facebook partnered with disreputable right-wing media outlet The Weekly Standard, thus allowing an outlet that baselessly criticizes fact-checkers and undermines confidence in journalism into its fact-checking program.

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Posted: 06 January 2018 11:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I have read several short articles about this. Apparently the unverified information are spreading through social media (now prevalently Facebook) without being actually challenged.

There is a topic, which repeatadly made various claims, its author was not able to answer any question, just repeated his statement. A moderator on this forum made a claim that his job is to keep discussions on certain level, not to say who is right and who is wrong. Even when in understand the principle of free speech, there is the second part to this - responsibility.

I will give you an example. Slovakia accepted about same amount request for citizenship as in last 10 years. Usually its around 100 requests. This happenned even during Migration crisis, as our country has sort of alien language (complicated slavic language, with 5-6 milions of speakers), while many people are afraid about losing our national identity. (that happened because in course of 1000 years there was no Slovak kingdom or country). As in many other European countries, there are people who oppose immigration. Even when the real numbers of immigrants and war refugees are really low, some of them started a campaing against non-existent immigrant wave.

One of them, mr Marcel Burkert, tried to explain his views on Islam. In one of his hate-filled blogs he clearly took Wahabi interpretation of the Quran and presented it as “normal muslim behavior”. I challenged his blogs with my own views, and i ended up being marked as a muslim apologist. He repeatedly refused interpretations i veriied - such as Jesus is mentioned in Quran as well, and that God in christian religion and Allah in islam are the same person.

In one part he clearly stated “this is not true, but it could happen” and he presented line from Quran and interpreted it in a way that everyone in muslim society is teached to sacrifice his life in the name of Allah. So this “person” first said he is making a false claim, and later boldly presented it. At that point I contacted people responsible for blog and asked them to check, and challenge the blog of mr. Burkert. They removed the blog and asked him to provide a proof that every school of islam has this interpretation. Of course he could not prove that (he never was in a muslim country, he never visited a school of islam, or never spoke to a muslim). Regardless, as a matter of fact most schools consider suicide to be a sin, while the myth about 77 virgins is not a part of Quran at all. Miraculously mr. Burkert found it…

There is also one extra limitation to blog of Mr. Burkert. Defamation of group of people, based on religion is a crime in Slovakia. In case of mr. Burkert he could end up in jail for 12 years, as he did those claims while representative of a city council. Its not a crime if the claims are true (even when its harsh criticism), but because his articles were blatant lies, he personally and the blog administrators could be prosecuted for commiting a crime. Social Media, which are located outside Slovakia, dont need to adhere to our laws of course. Also “spreading the alarm message” such as “fire” when there is no fire around, is in similar way a crime - context is important as nicely demostrated mr. Hitchens.

When it comes to social media, free speech is often preferred over responsibility. In my country, people are not aware how to do proper fact check, they usually accept authority and trust blindly without checking wider picture. Impact are then terrible and whole groups of people are getting stupider by reading articles… Within last few years some of my colleagues (intelligent people) became breatharians, or started to trust that and excel sheet can help diagnose cancer. Usually zero critical thinking towards primary source of the information.

Therefore I would like to ask, whether responsibilty in spreading information - indirectly, while being an admin of social media or forum - should be a more important factor?

I see the practice i described above (challenge the content from admin position, and remove it until proven correct and true) as a possible way how to handle such situations.

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Posted: 07 January 2018 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thank you Offler for adding those thoughts, nice to think at least someone is thinking about this.

Although I do want to point out, I was not asking for the OP in question to be removed, I was asking for it to be moved to its appropriate category.

But your point is well taken:

Offler - 06 January 2018 11:07 AM

I have read several short articles about this. Apparently the unverified information are spreading through social media (now prevalently Facebook) without being actually challenged.

There is a topic, which repeatadly made various claims, its author was not able to answer any question, just repeated his statement. A moderator on this forum made a claim that his job is to keep discussions on certain level, not to say who is right and who is wrong. Even when in understand the principle of free speech, there is the second part to this - responsibility.

...

Therefore I would like to ask, whether responsibilty in spreading information - indirectly, while being an admin of social media or forum - should be a more important factor? ...

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Posted: 07 January 2018 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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For further exploration

SEEPAGE - science -> pseudo-sci -> contrarianism -> passive acceptance
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/19762/

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