Google and Facebook's "fake news" ban is a welcome nail in the coffin of "software objectivity"


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/15/google-and-facebooks-fake.html


#2

But if they ban so-called “fake” news, how will I know who Hillary killed today? Forwarded emails from my relatives? Come on! Those are only good for finding out who Hillary killed yesterday!


#3

The fact that they had this technology 6 months ago but chose not deploy it even in the face of mountains of empirical data of fake news influencing voters makes me question the motives of these large companies.

You want to send them a message that this shit ISN’T acceptable? Close your twitter account, fill your profile with fake data and cancel your facebook, switch to DuckDuckGo, and start practicing some real OPSEC.

Continuing to use these service (or be the product of these companies) sends the message that Peter Thiel and Palmer Luckey and all the other SV alt-right vulture capitalists’ views are validated.


#4

I think that shutting down all social media is a strange way to protest fake news propagated by other websites.

Twitter isn’t responsible for what Drudge Report and Breitbart post. Block people posting fake news. It’s not that difficult to regulate.


#5

I believe Thomas Jefferson said, “fake news sites are the life-blood of a thriving democracy.” Look it up!


#6

O’ wondrous age of automated oligarchic decision making!

Not because of this specific case, but because every day we’re increasingly relying on algorithms to automate everything, including editorializing. When they tell us (truthfully) that there’s no way they can individually curate every linkage of information on Earth, do we make them give us the tools and give us back our freedom to be active agents in our own communications? No, we use our outrage to make them build subjective algorithms to do it automatically. Have we learned nothing from all the technologies we’ve regretted becoming dependent on? When your community has a drug addiction epidemic, do you call on the drug lords for a cure?

I design algorithms for a living (albeit much more rudimentary ones for a highly experimental type of machine). I’m not anti-algorithm, but if I made hammers for a living, I wouldn’t tell everyone they were the solution to all society’s problems.

We expect, neigh demand our corporate feudal overlords replace the job we used to expect of ourselves…deciding what to pay attention to and therefore think and believe.

Choice architecture will be the end of a society that not only thinks for itself, but even wants to…


#7

I can’t block their effects on society.

Nor can I block the friends of friends that use them as a primary news source.

Nor can I block Facebook’s algorithms from making me miserable, because miserable persons share more.

Much better for me to shut down my FB and not let them tell me how to express myself and feel online.


#8

Just how is FB or Google going to determine what is fake and what is not?


#9

While all the social media giants behave abominably to some degree, FB leads the pack by a mile. If someone were to hang up just one of their social media accounts, FB would certainly be my recommendation.


#10

Pick off a few of the worst offenders and call it a day, really. I doubt even NaturalNews and Mercola will be affected.


#11

A/B testing. the article with more shares/comments/likes is fake and will be suppressed.


#12

Facebook is trash. It itself regurgitates fake news. I refuse to support a company that cheerfully pushes fake news to its users while keeping an actual Nazi on its board of directors.


#13

So basically now an anonymous team within multinational corporation will decide which news is fake or not just because the candidate they don’t like won the elections?


#14

Facebook, if anything, supports Trump. Their board members are vocal Trump supporters.

But their users are tired of hundreds of fake-news sites on both political sides inventing false news stories that get reposted as truth. I’m tired of it. You should be tired of it, too.

Welcome to BoingBoing, egg avatar


#15

Thanks to the free market, you are welcome to use or not to use their fake news detection services.


#16

Oh yeah free market… But if they don’t dominate the market and monopolise the communications how can they than swey the elections?


#17

I agree, fake news are a pest, still how question remains how are they going to decide what is fake and what is not. More to the point how can we know what criterion did they use and what got suppressed. This is a real issue and a real concern.

Also ad hominem doesn’t really help you make your point.


#18

I couldn’t care less what you think makes my point or not.

They’re going to decide what is fake by making a list of demonstrably fake news sites and weeding them out and flagging them. By making that list public their users can have a say.

The criteria is pretty simple. Is the news fake? If the news is not real, then it is fake. If it is truth, and things that actually happened, then it is not fake.

This is remarkably easy to comprehend.


#19

The phrase “fake news” brings to mind The Onion and similar satire sites that are total fabrication, or tabloid alien abduction dreck. It would appear, in this context, that news in question is better described as erroneous, slanted or exaggerated, not pulled from thin air as the word fake implies.

Has the evaluation criteria for fake news been laid out by either party in specific language?


#20

People are horrible at filtering bullshit, especially if aligns with their preconceived biases. The right is being focused on, but there are also a lot of left side BS sites as well. Also non political sites like anti-vax sites, natural cures, etc. All of this leads to further divisiveness, and misinformation propagating.

Obviously you can’t remove this shit from the internet, but places like Facebook can curate what is shown. They shouldn’t stop people from sharing, per se, but they can not accept advertising dollars etc from them. Personally I rarely see fringe sites and when I do it is from people sharing them.