Right about now, Mark Zuckerberg is resting his chin between his luscious man bewbs with satisfaction. While sipping a non-fat, sugar-free, no-balls latte. He just made a big step in silencing zee dissenters. Facebook’s latest initiative involves asking users which news outlets they have a love affair with. All in an effort to fight “fake news.”
Problems. So many problems.
The full Facebook news trustworthiness survey.
— Alex Kantrowitz (@Kantrowitz) January 23, 2018
Facebook is overhauling its News Feed amid ongoing criticism of its platform, which has come under fire for enabling foreign manipulation of US elections, giving rise to fake news, and making people feel bad.
In a Facebook post last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained how the survey data would be used:
Here’s how this will work. As part of our ongoing quality surveys, we will now ask people whether they’re familiar with a news source and, if so, whether they trust that source. The idea is that some news organizations are only trusted by their readers or watchers, and others are broadly trusted across society even by those who don’t follow them directly. (We eliminate from the sample those who aren’t familiar with a source, so the output is a ratio of those who trust the source to those who are familiar with it.)
That’s right, they’re encouraging users, who couldn’t recognize fake news in the first place, to determine who gets priority on Facebook. Meaning your great aunt and her seven sisters can all say they recognized “The Onion” and “trust it entirely.”
Actual footage of your newsfeed:
It should be emphasized Facebook isn’t customizing each feed, they’re customizing everyone’s feed based on the majority’s opinions. Which is their right, Facebook being a private company and all.
But this latest initiative just makes it harder for counter-culture outlets, or “problematic purveyors of nasty facts and wrong-think” to get their content to new people. People who might just enjoy it. People who could engage with Facebook more because they found it. But lo, ban all ye lesser known newsies. But lo, ban all ye lesser known newsies. But lo, ban all ye lesser known newsies. Sorry, there’s an echo in this chamber.
News curated by group think. What could go wrong?
Facebook has been bad news for a long time. We trust it “not at all.” Mostly because of the pale dude below: