Facebook is looking for help with managing news stories, recently listing an official job opening called “Head of News Partnerships” on its website.
The social media company is criticized profusely because certain false, or unsubstantiated, stories are publicized on the site due to its role as a news aggregator. But how Facebook will be able to decide what is “fake news” and what is legitimate is not yet known.
Some media outlets, like The Washington Post, have tried to de-legitimize competitors for being peddlers of “fake news,” despite their own analysis being widely condemned as unproven and even false. One of the publications named in its highly dubious report is now threatening to sue WaPo.
Mark Zuckerberg addressed the “fake news” issue Nov. 19 on his own social media account.
“A lot of you have asked what we’re doing about misinformation, so I wanted to give an update,” the post reads. “Historically, we have relied on our community to help us understand what is fake and what is not. Anyone on Facebook can report any link as false, and we use signals from those reports along with a number of others — like people sharing links to myth-busting sites such as Snopes — to understand which stories we can confidently classify as misinformation.”
Somewhat ironically, Snopes, a publication which Zuckerberg cites as a good resource, has published very misleading content before.
Zuckerberg now seems to feel inclined to employ a mediator who can help objectively (if that’s possible) decipher high-quality content from lower quality, misleading news stories. (RELATED: Facebook Is Sending Out $15 Checks Because It May Have Used Your Face Without Permission)
“Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share, and make the world more open and connected. Through our growing family of apps and services, we’re building a different kind of company that helps billions of people around the world connect and share what matters most to them,” the job posting reads. “The goal of the News Partnerships team is to help publishers and journalists understand how to reach and engage their audiences, and to innovate with new technologies”
Minimum qualifications for the position include 20 or more years of experience in news with a strong track-record of business prowess.
“The day-to-day responsibilities of the News Partnerships team include: manage relationships with news organizations; develop strategies and programs that foster greater collaboration and alignment between Facebook and news organizations,” the listing elaborates.
Facebook was accused of suppressing news stories more likely to be interesting to conservative readers, which subsequently bumped positive liberal stories up higher, in May, according to Gizmodo. It was later discovered that the trending news section on the social media platform was mostly operated and controlled by liberal-leaning employees until a large portion of them were ultimately fired.
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