Facebook releases video on its fight against misinformation
Facebook, after being criticized for not doing enough to stop bogus stories during the 2016 US Presidential election, released “Facing Facts”, a short film that gives an inside look at Facebook’s fight against misinformation.
Partnering with documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville, the short film reveals how the company is dealing with the problem of misinformation.
Neville and his team spent time with key members of the Facebook’s News Feed team, unveiling tools and tactics against misinformation.
“Misinformation travels in a cluster with people spreading polarization using exaggeration and sensationalism, low-quality content, running Ad farms,” explained Michael McNally, Facebook’s Engineering Director.
As they combat a whole spectrum of problems, he said one of the things that give him hope in fighting misinformation is that they can come at the problem from so many angles.
The video also presented Facebook’s challenges, showing a series of statements from their team and strategies on how to resolve the problem of misinformation.
Tessa Lyons, Facebook’s Product Manager for Newsfeed integrity, noted that one of the challenges of misinformation was that “there is no one consensus or source of truth.”
“Because if you think about all of the news that you read in a day; how much of it is objectively false and how much of it is objectively true? There’s a lot of content in the gray area, most of it probably exists in some space where people are presenting the facts as they see them,” she said.
However, American journalist and Professor Jeff Jarvis stated that in journalism, there is a myth that objectivity doesn’t exist. The same goes for the social media platform.
“Because Facebook is being manipulated, Facebook has an obligation to recognize that and compensate for that,” said Jarvis.
According to Facebook’s Data Science Manager, Eduardo Rubia, the fight against misinformation is so complicated.
He said that Facebook is now deploying every resource, leveraging machine-learning, creating data sets to build algorithms detecting minsinformation.
They are figuring out ways on how to leverage their network and the data they gather to understand how false information propagates.
“We can get ahead of it before it gets ahead of us,” he said.
The video was released on May 23 this year and is available online. /vvp
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