Facebook touts fight on fake news, but struggles to explain why InfoWars isn't banned

If you work for Facebook, quit.

After a short presentation showcasing Facebook's efforts to fight misinformation, John Hegeman, the head of Facebook's News Feed, and Sara Su, a Facebook product specialist for News Feed, took questions from reporters.

When asked by this reporter how the company could claim it was serious about tackling the problem of misinformation online while simultaneously allowing InfoWars to maintain a page with nearly one million followers on its website, Hegeman said that the company does not "take down false news."

"I guess just for being false that doesn't violate the community standards," Hegeman said, explaining that InfoWars has "not violated something that would result in them being taken down."

Hegeman added, "I think part of the fundamental thing here is that we created Facebook to be a place where different people can have a voice. And different publishers have very different points of view."

While publishers may certainly have a different point of view, InfoWars is no ordinary publisher, and the content it produces does not just offer "different points of view." The media organization is notorious for spreading demonstrably false information and conspiracy theories on a host of issues, including suggesting that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax staged by child actors. Earlier this year, the outlet smeared student survivors of the Parkland shooting with baseless attacks, portraying them in one video as actors.

Even on Wednesday, before and after Facebook defended its decision to allow InfoWars to operate on its website, InfoWars used the social media platform to spread baseless conspiracy theories. In one video posted to Facebook, InfoWars claimed billionaire George Soros wanted to "seize US voting machines." In another post, InfoWars, which has suggested that the September 11 terrorist attacks were an inside job, asked, "Will Trump expose the truth behind 9/11?"

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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2 Responses:

  1. tobias says:

    https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/projects/drone-war

    real journalism still lives, reporting on your tax dollars at work.

  2. jwz says:

    barrett:

    I love that Alex Jones admitted in court that he makes this shit up for money, and Facebook is like "it's hard; where do you draw the line?"

    I dunno, maybe start with the guy who admitted in court that he makes this shit up for money?

    Hey, that didn't seem too hard after all.

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