Mark Zuckerberg rules out banning fake news on Facebook

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Mark Zuckerberg has issued a 6,000-word outline of Facebook’s future goals and makes it pretty clear that he doesn’t have a problem with fake news, so long as it is labelled as just that.

The message was posted on Zuckerberg’s own Facebook Page and declares that he wants users to enjoy “a multiplicity of media and form a balanced view of their own, rather than allowing Facebook to become an ‘echo chamber’ of friends holding the same views as the user.”

He went on, “Our goal must be to help people see a more complete picture, not just alternate perspectives,” he writes.

“Accuracy of information is very important. We know there is misinformation and even outright hoax content on Facebook, and we take this very seriously.

“We’ve made progress fighting hoaxes the way we fight spam, but we have more work to do. We are proceeding carefully because there is not always a clear line between hoaxes, satire and
opinion.

“In a free society, it’s important that people have the power to share their opinion, even if others think they’re wrong.

“Our approach will focus less on banning misinformation, and more on surfacing additional perspectives and information, including that fact checkers dispute an item’s accuracy.

“While we have more work to do on information diversity and misinformation, I am even more focused on the impact of sensationalism and polarization, and the idea of building common understanding.”

Zuckerberg continued in his essay that he wished to build tools which could be used to create meaningful communities but agreed that the right balance needed to be sought.

“There have been terribly tragic events — like suicides, some live streamed — that perhaps could have been prevented if someone had realized what was happening and reported them sooner.

There are cases of bullying and harassment every day, that our team must be alerted to before we can help out. These stories show we must find a way to do more.

“Artificial intelligence can help provide a better approach. We are researching systems that can look at photos and videos to flag content our team should review. This is still very early in development, but we have started to have it look at some content, and it already generates about one-third of all reports to the team that reviews content for our community.”

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