During 2016. we have all seen fake news running freely online. President Obama even mentioned that democracy is endangered with this kind of informing. Some people consider that those kind of news are responsible for the election results.
How to deal with the misinformation?
The most influential news "service" is definitely #Facebook, as 44% of the US adults are reading news from there. With that amount of influence comes a huge responsibility. Mark Zuckerberg was accused for not showing enough interest when it comes to this.
But it is not easy to come up with a solution when we are in front of a philosophical questions: should we limit freedom and what is freedom without the limits? On his Facebook profile Zuckerberg explained his position in this matter and has offered strategy for resolving this problem.
Strategy is based on: stronger detection, easy reporting (making it much easier for people to report stories as fake will help catch more misinformation faster), third party verification, warnings, related articles quality, disrupting fake news economics (a lot of misinformation is driven by financially motivated spam), listening. Some will say it is small move there should be some serious restrictions. But this is a subtle subject and anything harsh could have huge consequences.
So Facebook strategy is agreeable because it still gives us opportunity to share and express our opinion. But what is the real question is, how should be punished those who produce those kind of misinformation?
There is something more deeper and more important than Facebook's responsibility. That is our responsibility when it comes to informing. The golden rule of democracy is right to be fairly informed, but without active society there is no democracy. And we came to the point that we are presented as consumers. It is like we don't have any role in the community. And that is nonsense. It is up to us if we are going to take serious everything we read. There are lots of sources where everyone can check the validity of information.
And then humanity shows its true face - sometimes it is easier to accept misinformation in order to confirm our beliefs.
So that is the reason why we need journalists. We need professionals who are seeking the truth and the ones who are giving information based on logical facts and arguments. Which makes the last step of Facebook strategy crucial. #Election 2016