Tuesday, November 15, 2016

This Just In

Google and Facebook both recently announced they were going after fake news sources being share on their site.

I won't lie--I'm a little leery of this. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's the plethora of people who accept their news from obvious horrible news sites--both right and left. Half the stuff on my timeline makes me want to click a special button that says "You are an idiot and this is clearly false." It's maddening.

That said, I'm always queasy when it comes to stuff like this. I'm not going to use the word "censorship" since the government isn't involved, but I'm also not particularly comfortable with Google or Facebook decided what is fake and what is real--since a huge, huge number of these articles often fall under the "technically true but blatantly misleading" category. Where will those fall?

In fact, according to the article above, Facebook is deliberately taking this action because they fear it may have swayed the election--this, of course, with no way of determining whether it's true or not.

I guess I take the not-very-sexy position of believing that people are smart enough to know the difference between fake and real news, and those that aren't probably aren't going to change their mind anyway. And at the end of the day the number of people who vote based on misleading things probably even out on both the right and the left. I'm willing to make those (possibly shaky) assumptions rather than have a corporation tell me what sort of news I'm allowed to consume, no matter how ridiculously inaccurate it is.

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