Has Facebook Become the Leading Force Against “Fake News” ?

As Facebook continues to be one of the most popular social media outlets around the world, they have recently announced their goal of expansion through the recreation of their newsfeed’s infrastructure. Originally created as a website focused around connecting with people via social networking, people around the world including myself now use Facebook as a general news source which has created a lot of criticism particularly from the recent U.S Presidential election.

      As I continued to look more in depth on Facebook’s new goal of expansion, I came across a Wall Street Journal article titled “Zuckerberg Lays Out Broad Vision for Facebook in 6,000-Word Mission Statement” in which Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s new goal of creating a more community based networking site where users can now be informed more than they ever have been before on current events around the world.

In the hopes of focusing on more than just social networking, Zuckerberg stated in the article, “With that foundation, our next focus will be developing the social infrastructure for community — for supporting us, for keeping us safe, for informing us, for civic engagement, and for inclusion of all.” This statement really caught my eye in particular due to the fact that a majority of my generation in particular looks at news publications shared on Facebook and often times automatically assumes that the sources and information is credible without even fact-checking them.

Since Zuckerberg has continued to emphasize his commitment of only using legitimate news sources due to the repeated mishaps associated with fabricated and illegitimate information shared on Facebook’s main newsfeed, I personally believe that non-credible sources are the culprits in the larger dilemma of “fake news”. By creating closer ties with what a majority of the population considers credible news organizations such as The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and Buzzfeed, it was obvious to me just after reading several articles that Facebook looked at false news publications featured on their newsfeed as a detrimental threat to their well-attained image.

As I have grown up in a generation consumed with politics specifically between the left and right constantly pointing fingers at each other, I have slowly turned to favoring print news with more neutral news coverage, rather than looking to Fox or CNN as a source of non-biased information. Since Facebook’s new “Journalism Campaign” was designed specifically around advocating fair and neutral news coverage from this point forward on their newsfeed, it only made me wonder more why the media outlets in the U.S have become so politically biased instead of just maintaining their focus on accurate news coverage.

Especially after living in Prague for the past two months, it was evident to me right from the beginning that local, print news publications still play a huge part in the spread of information here without being completely consumed with the issues associated with social media and its manipulation of information as we often see in the U.S on a daily basis. As I will be returning back to the United States in the next week, I am already bracing myself for the influx of questionable information and political drama that has become a normal part of my everyday life in my generation in the U.S.


Feature image courtesy of Flickr user Hatici Sosyal

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