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Is Facebook Finally Cracking Down on Fake News?

Facebook recently released two job listings, June 7, for an English and Spanish speaking “News Credibility Specialists”. News outlets are abuzz whether Facebook will start monitoring fake news after CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement early this year that he did not want his company to be in the business of assessing which news organizations are credible and trustworthy.

The job roles previously titled “News Credibility Specialists” are now called “News Publisher Specialist”.

The post details that the roles are contract positions and would be based in Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The successful candidates would be tasked with “developing a deep expertise in Facebook’s News Credibility Program”. They will conduct investigations and help create a list of trustworthy news organizations. Facebook is looking into using the list for various site features such as the newsfeed and advertising system.

Since news outlets got word of the job postings – and people’s comments ensued – Facebook temporarily took down the ads and republished them with revisions. Aside from the changed job title, all mentions of the company’s news credibility program have been removed.

The Battle against Fake News and Propaganda

It is expected that Facebook’s move against fake news and propaganda will come to play in ensuring transparency with political ads. Facebook said it will require political ads to disclose who funded them and will restrict ads that are non-compliant.

As news organizations often pay to promote political articles, the credibility specialist would help Facebook differentiate articles from standard political ads.

In addition to the hiring of news publisher specialists, Facebook also announced that it is closing its trending section altogether. The company is shifting its focus from news in favour of friends and family’s stories.

Facebook’s Long-running Dilemma with Fake News and Content with Propaganda

Back in 2016, Facebook fired its editorial team after it was revealed that the trending news module was curated and tweaked by human beings. In an expose done by Gizmodo, a Facebook employee admitted to routinely suppressing conservative news. The source told Gizmodo that workers prevented right-wing stories from appearing in the trending news section even if they were organically trending among the users.

Facebook then introduced an algorithm to replace its staff in an attempt to battle the accusation of anti-conservative editing. They also hired third-party fact checkers to sift away hoax news sites and propaganda. Facebook’s fake news problem grew, however, when the algorithm allowed false stories such as Fox News letting Megyn Kelly go and an SNL comedian’s attack on Ann Coulter to enter the trending news section.

Today, it seems that Facebook is hiring staff once again to sort out the problem. Media outlets are quick to comment that this goes against Zuckerberg’s statement in January stating that they were not comfortable with deciding on the trustworthiness of a news outlet. The company then said it would survey the users to determine which sites and sources they deemed trustworthy.

Facebook’s move to hire news credibility specialists would not replace the Facebook surveys and third-party fact checkers, but they will be an addition to the sifting system. This move confuses people as having an in-house fact-checking team again will reopen accusations of bias.

Dealing with one controversy and a half, Facebook has a lot on its plate to keep consumers and investors’ trust and confidence.

Martin Mctavish of Intercom Media

Is Facebook Finally Cracking Down on Fake News?
4.3 (85%) 4 votes

How to Choose Your Blogging Platform

Blogging PlatformsDo you want to start a blog for fun and generate some unbranded traffic? Or do you need a site where you can share information and flex your muscles as a thought leader to drive readers to your e-commerce site?

Individuals, businesses, and everyone in between and beyond have different needs for a blogging platform, and the specific reasons why you may want a blog should affect your platform choice. Ask yourself the following three questions to help you choose the right cloud-based blogging platform for your needs.

Do You Want to Start Blogging Today?

Beginners who want a blog for professional or personal use, but don’t have many needs outside of putting virtual pen to virtual paper, can benefit from a straightforward platform that requires no coding to get started. Although you may find some restrictions in terms of processing power, storage space, and appearance of the site, you’ll find plenty of platform options when your priority simply is to publish what’s on your mind.

Choices such as Blogger, Tumblr, and Medium require minimum blogging platform setup and no coding skills. Although premade templates limit your ability to change how your blog looks, you can easily sign up for an account and start posting today. These options also have social tools, which make your blogs easy to share across any other social media accounts you have.

What Changes Will You Make to Your Blog in the Future?

Perhaps you want to start a blog casually for now, but you are interested in adding more functionality in the future. Or maybe you’re a business owner who will add a website to your blog or need an account that staff writers and social media managers will eventually use. If so, you’ll need something beyond what many free platforms provide.

WordPress.org and Squarespace are good choices for small businesses or beginning bloggers who would like to take advantage of more site features in the future. Both are easy to integrate with an e-commerce store. With WordPress, you’ll need to handle backups and data security on your own. If you blog with one of these platforms and start accepting payments or storing customer info in cloud services like AWS, consider working with a cloud access security broker to ensure that you’re customer data is kept secure in the cloud.

How Much Storage Space Will You Need?

Pay attention to how much storage comes with your blog, especially before going through the trouble of creating an account on a free site. WordPress.com, for example, offers basic services for free with the option to add more storage. This option can be good for a contractor who needs storage for many high-quality photos. Freelance photographers who want to blog and share their work may also benefit most from Tumblr because of its social tools and excellent support for visual content.

Every blogger has distinct needs. Think carefully about how much work you want to invest in to start blogging, how much control you want over how your blog pages look, and whether you’ll need support for items related to running a business. Answer the questions above and keep these recommendations in mind as you continue your search for the right blogging platform.

How to Choose Your Blogging Platform
3.5 (70%) 4 votes

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