Facebook assures Pangilinan: ‘We take misinformation seriously’
MANILA, Philippines – Facebook assured Senator Francis Pangilinan they "take misinformation seriously" and were "working.. to address the issue of fake news and hoaxes” on Thursday, January 19 as the senator moved to probe the social media giant.
"We take misinformation seriously. Our goal is to connect people with the stories they find most meaningful, and we know people want accurate information. We've been working on this problem for a long time — years — and still have more work to do,” Facebook said in a statement.
Pangilinan filed Senate Resolution 271 on Wednesday, January 18, directing the appropriate committee to probe "the proliferation of misinformation and fake news sites in social media platforms, particularly on Facebook," seeking to penalize the platform for “inaction.”
"In this digital age, Facebook and other social media platforms play a crucial role in the practice of democracy. More than being an online platform, Facebook may be described as a de facto media company or publisher that should be responsible and accountable for the content it distributes and allows to be distributed, in order to protect the national discourse from fabricated and false news," Pangilinan said in his resolution.
Facebook that they’ve been working on solving the problem in different ways, such as making it easier for users to report fake news, working with fact checking organizations in flagging disputed content, and disrupting financial incentives for spammers.
But Facebook admitted that the problems are complex, both technically and philosophically.
"We believe in giving people a voice, which means erring on the side of letting people share what they want whenever possible. We need to be careful not to discourage sharing of opinions or to mistakenly restrict accurate content. We do not want to be arbiters of truth ourselves, but instead rely on our community and trusted third parties,” they added.
The proliferation of fake news on social media has long been an issue worldwide. (READ: 'Propaganda war: Weaponizing the internet' )
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has also filed a similar resolution, seeking a Senate inquiry into social media "trolls" and fake news.
Meanwhile, Germany's ruling party announced its intention to pass a law penalizing Facebook for fake and wrong posts that are not removed within 24 hours. Facebook responded by saying that they will introduce new measures to combat fake news.
An analysis also showed that fake election news got more attention than did real stories on Facebook during the final months of the 2016 US presidential campaign.
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg rejected the idea, however, that bogus stories shared on the social network carved a path to victory for Republican President-elect Donald Trump. – Rappler.