It’s not a crazy idea. What’s crazy is for him to come out and dismiss it like that, when he knows, and those of us at the company know, that fake news ran wild on our platform during the entire campaign season, said one Facebook employee, who works in the social network’s engineering division. He, like the four other Facebook employees who spoke to BuzzFeed News for this story, would only speak on condition of anonymity. All five employees said they had been warned by their superiors against speaking to press, and feared they would lose their jobs if named.
The employees declined to provide many details on the task force. One employee said “more than dozens” of employees were involved, and that they had met twice in the last six days. At the moment, they are meeting in secret, to allow members of the group to speak freely and without fear of condemnation from senior management. The group plans to formalize its meetings and eventually make a list of recommendations to Facebook’s senior management. Another Facebook employee said while the task force remained small, “hundreds” of Facebook employees had expressed dissatisfaction with the company’s stance on fake news in private online chats, and wanted to support efforts to challenge that position.Sheera Frenkel
I wonder how these groups are coordinating inside Facebook while hiding from other employees and their managers. Maybe with third party apps (iMessage?) on their phones? I imagine they wouldn’t want to use Facebook Messenger or other internal communication apps that could in theory be accessed by IT.
Zuck's blind spot is the one I had when I first started building social media tools. We only wanted credit for the good results.— rap game Bodhi Rook (@anildash) November 11, 2016
FB + Twitter cannot take credit for changing the world during events like the Egyptian Uprising, then downplay their influence on elections— this is not normal. (@karenkho) November 13, 2016
“Move Fast and Break Things” tech bros shocked by the election result: congratulations, you broke things.https://t.co/3nx17RzIDP— Tom Maes (@tmaes) November 10, 2016
BTW that fake news site Google listed with “election results” wouldn’t be impacted by the Google AdSense ban since it doesn’t carry ads.— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) November 15, 2016
Why Mark Zuckerberg Is in denial? Because admitting would basically mean robbing Facebook of its legitimacy & “better world” promise.— Martin Weigert (@martinweigert) November 15, 2016
Related, both Google and Facebook announced changes to their ad policies to bar sites spreading fake news from displaying ads from Google or Facebook respectively. This should limit the appeal of deceptive content by cutting off an important source of revenue for these domains. It’s a good first step, but many of these sites are probably funded by wealthy ‘benefactors’ from either side of the political spectrum, so I think more decisive measures are in order.