Announcement Made as Zuckerberg Hob-Nobs “Off the Record” with Major News Media Execs

Facebook is the foremost platform where individual users alongside mainstream and alternative news media share news and perspectives. Now the links shared on Facebook will be promoted or suppressed based on what the social media giant calculates as their “trustworthiness” or lack thereof. The new program is costing “billions” of dollars, which is being spent on both artificial intelligence and “tens of thousands of human moderators.” Facebook’s efforts are allegedly intended to combat “fake news” and “deliberate propaganda, especially in elections.”

Buzfeed reports:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday that the company has already begun to implement a system that ranks news organizations based on trustworthiness, and promotes or suppresses its content based on that metric.

Zuckerberg said the company has gathered data on how consumers perceive news brands by asking them to identify whether they have heard of various publications and if they trust them.

“We put [that data] into the system, and it is acting as a boost or a suppression, and we’re going to dial up the intensity of that over time,” he said. “We feel like we have a responsibility to further [break] down polarization and find common ground.”

Zuckerberg met with a group of news media executives at the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel in Menlo Park after delivering his keynote speech at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference Tuesday.

The meeting included representatives from BuzzFeed News, the Information, Quartz, the New York Times, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, NBC, Recode, Univision, Barron’s, the Daily Beast, the Economist, HuffPost, Insider, the Atlantic, the New York Post, and others.

The event, called “OTR” (shorthand for “off the record”), is an annual gathering meant for new media news executives to talk shop. It is in its second year. Zuckerberg’s remarks were initially meant to be, like the name of the conference, off the record, but he agreed to answer questions on the record.

Even if it does not continue to overtly sideline conservative content, Facebook’s AI-guided censorship squad faces an uphill battle with an American public that is deeply divided along political lines, and 54% of whom believe Facebook and Twitter are part of the problem, according to a recent Gallup/Knight Foundation study.

Politico summarizes the paper’s findings thus,

Americans have a negative view of the media, believe coverage is more biased than ever and are sharply divided in their views along partisan lines.

The study’s sponsors and academic observers fault conservatives and supporters of President Trump for creating distrust of corporate media by subscribing to “‘Trump’s cult of personality credo that anything or anyone critiquing him is not real.’” Of course, such a view simplifies Trump’s stance toward the unmistakable,  across-the-board negative coverage of his campaign and administration from almost all quarters of the major news media.

One might wish to consider how alternative perspectives and conflicting information might be shared on Facebook or similar platforms once such “trustworthiness” guidelines are in play and in the wake of a complex public event, such as a mass shooting or terrorist attack. One can gather from past instances that major media coverage and commentary are primarily devoted to publicizing the official, state-sponsored narrative. Anomalies and contradictions will be deemed “untrustworthy” and accordingly tossed down the digital memory hole.



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9 thought on “Facebook’s Begins “Ranking” News Orgs on “Trustworthiness””
  1. I’m reminded of a true story I heard from a friend who was born and raised in Moscow, during the Soviet era.

    She said a staunchly anti-communist friend of hers used to secretly listen to Radio Free Europe (somehow managing to bypass all the jamming by the govt). His son was in grammar school, and every week he had to give an oral report on a story he’d heard in the news.

    His dad, of course, refused to let his boy have access to govt propaganda “media” outlets. So to help his son out, the dad would choose a story on RFE and then “deconstruct” it to fit the Soviet narrative. E.g., when he heard that the USSR had invaded Afghanistan, he concluded–correctly–that Pravda would report that Afghanistan had “invited” the Soviet army into the country. And he would tell his son to say THAT at school, knowing it was bs.

    Okay, this story took too long, but my point is, we all know that if fbook ranks a “news organization” highly, it must be garbage, Just like with Soviet-era Pravda, up is down and black is white. We’ll know to listen to the alt news instead, because fbook excoriates it.

    And when Qanon and his team destroy fbook completely… we will laugh. Just as the Russians did, when they watched the cranes toppling statues of Stalin.

    #Qanon #greatawakening

    1. Good analogy. And does this mean that conversely liberal Democrats will grow even more obtuse?

      BREAKING: This is pretty extraordinary. Parliament issues ultimatum to Facebook. Either Mark Zuckerberg comes voluntarily. Or, he’ll face a summons next time he enters British territory. Facebook really couldn’t have handled this much worse…

      1. So, let me get this right. MI6 & Mossad is demanding NSA, FBI and the CIA to sent their head puppet to London to testify on spying on everyday citizens via the web. Really ??
        This is just a bad live version of Spy Vs. Spy.

    2. Marie, that’s exactly what will happen — at least for those of us in the know. However those who are already propaganda-prisoners are probably a bit more likely to remain so.

      You know when one of these phoney “terrorist” shootings took place I used to be able to google something like “San Bernardino shooting hoax” to get the benefit of citizen investigators’ work.

      Now I only get scandalized reports that anonymous people are shockingly questioning the official narrative. Disappointing.

      The only bright side I can find is that TPTB must feel threatened or they wouldn’t be taking this step. Another step they are taking is to try to get us to blackwash our own credibility by selling us phoney “conspiracy” stories like flat earth. These often appear on sites that sucker you in by agreeing with the real conspiracies before stating the phoney ones, like “Rockets can’t fly.”

  2. Boycott is the cheapest, simplest and best solution to this censorship nonsense of this arrogant kid from Israel playing in billion dollar sandbox. Boycott Facebook. Never use it again. Do the same to all movies from the Hollywood Perverts, all their obscene movie and music productions with zero redeeming value. Never take your family to one of their obscene theme parks either and poison you kids. Just say NO. They will quickly get the message. Because all the worship is a five letter obscene word: MONEY.

    Just say NO. It is so simple. This is People Power. Boycott Power. Everyone has this basic right everywhere.

    Instead take you family to see great historical monuments in all States. They are cheap and most enlightening too. Finally take your kids to the local pubic library. It is even free!

    1. Simply playing devil’s advocate here, but waging an effective boycott campaign is much easier when you can readily influence or otherwise control the media, as the phony Parkland gun-grab “activists” know all too well.

  3. The whole idea of allowing an organization that many people don’t trust, headed by people that many don’t trust, to determine what is ‘trustworthy’ for us, is laughable,

  4. zuck is just the front shill man. fb is cia folks. all the info goes into their private data center and combined with google data (through cross site cookies they know every click you make). they have a dossier on everyone of us and our children.

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