Tags: Facebook | Fake News

Exec: Facebook Is Not 'Arbiter of the Truth' Amid Fake News Criticism

Image: Exec: Facebook Is Not 'Arbiter of the Truth' Amid Fake News Criticism
Sheryl Sandberg (Reuters)

By    |   Monday, 24 Apr 2017 10:46 AM

Amid criticism of spreading fake news, a top Facebook executive said the technology firm does not want to be the "arbiter of the truth" because it sees itself as a platform for social commentary rather than as a publisher.

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook, told the BBC in an interview scheduled for broadcast Monday that making those decisions wouldn't be an "appropriate" role for their company to assume, CNBC reported.

"I don't think we have to be the publisher, and we definitely don't want to be the arbiter of the truth," Sandberg said. "We don't think that's appropriate for us. We think everyone needs to do their part. Newsrooms have to do their part, media companies, classrooms and technology companies."

Facebook has faced criticism for allowing posts that spread inaccurate information that was particularly rampant during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The media giant has recently introduced a campaign to help people identify false articles.

Sandberg stressed the difference between being a publisher versus a platform where people can voice their opinions.

"We are really a platform and we take our responsibilities on false news very seriously. False news hurts everyone because it makes our community uninformed. It hurts our community. It hurts countries. And, we know that people want to see accurate news on Facebook and that's what we want them to see," Sandberg said.

Others disagree, claiming Facebook should show more responsibility regarding the content that appears on its service.

"They can't just say, 'Look we're a technology company, we have nothing to do with the content that is appearing on our digital pages,'" WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell told CNBC in a recent interview, referencing both Facebook and Google.

Sandberg stressed responsibility for assessing truth from fake news was one that should be shared, stating that Facebook's goal was to obtain accuracy in a landscape that was continuing to develop.

"We all have to do our part to make sure that people see accurate information, and figuring out how we do that is something that we're going to have to see and will evolve. But we know the goal. The goal is for people to see accurate information on Facebook and everywhere else," she said.

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Amid criticism of spreading fake news, a top Facebook executive said the technology firm does not want to be the "arbiter of the truth" because it sees itself as a platform for social commentary rather than as a publisher....
Facebook, Fake News
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2017-46-24
Monday, 24 Apr 2017 10:46 AM
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