According to Axios reporter Ina Fried, the vice president of global communications, marketing, and public policy (phew!) at Facebook shook off suggestions that the network should use outside media literacy watch dogs as opposed to outsourcing its “fake news” problem to a “statistically representative” group of its own users.
While speaking at the tech conference DLD (Digital Life Design) in Munich, he revealed that the real motivation behind the company’s decision was one based almost entirely on optics. Fried reports:
VP Elliot Schrage said that Facebook itself shouldn't be the one to decide which news to promote and said that, in a polarized world, turning things over to any third party simply “Invites criticism [of] who that body of experts is.”
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as the company has been totally ignorant and outrageously slow in accepting responsibility for what has been a disaster for its users. While Twitter is turning to media literacy groups such as Common Sense Media and the National Association for Media Literacy for solutions to its own troll and fake news epidemic, Facebook continues to cower behind a broken concept that the company is a neutral platform where all of its participants are equally weighted.
If this latest experiment with crowd wisdom is as successful as its 2016 efforts, Facebook should continue to prove itself unworthy of the time and energy media businesses spend trying to serve its needs.