Yes, I know I wrote about “fake news” just two weeks ago. But there have been some interesting developments to watch. Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared in an interview that, despite how offensive he personally finds Holocaust denialism, he doesn’t think Facebook should censor it. Reaction was swift, and personally, I love a good free speech/responsible information dissemination debate.
The blow-up has given fuel to a growing chorus of voices saying that Facebook needs to stop pretending it’s a platform for people to share and connect, and recognize that it’s a media company, with all the attendant responsibilities. And this week, some national governments have taken steps to enshrine this idea into law.
- Mark Zuckerberg is a horror show. But there’s a glimmer of truth hidden in his latest blunder [Washington Post] “Facebook could recognize Holocaust denialism as hate speech and ban it on those grounds, but trying to censor every falsehood should be noted as a bad idea.”
- Facebook’s Fight Against Fake News Keeps Raising Questions [Wired] “By deciding what may lead to violence and taking action, Facebook is taking on duties normally reserved for governments and law enforcement.”
- Egypt targets social media with new law [Reuters] “Under the law passed on Monday social media accounts and blogs with more than 5,000 followers on sites such as Twitter and Facebook will be treated as media outlets, which makes them subject to prosecution for publishing false news or incitement to break the law.”
- Russia, Accused of Faking News, Unfurls Its Own ‘Fake News’ Bill [New York Times] “The bill gives social media companies 24 hours to delete ‘inaccurate’ information after being notified of its existence, raising concerns that moderators will be left to interpret the term, which is vaguely defined in the measure.”
From the Ohio Web Library:
- Beller, Steven, Antisemitism: A Very Short Introduction, 2nd edn (Oxford, 2015; online edn, Very Short Introductions online, Oct. 2015).
- DiLascio-Martinuk, Tracey M. “Counterpoint: Information Providers Should Stop the Spread of Fake News.” Points of View: Fake News, Nov. 2017, p. 1.
- Roberts, Jeff John. “Why Facebook Won’t Admit It’s a Media Company.” Fortune.Com, 15 Nov. 2016, p. 1.