'We can't be arbiter of truth': Why Facebook won't shut down fake news


Posted at Mar 15 2018 12:55 PM

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Social media giant Facebook on Thursday said it has no policy on taking down "fake news" as it cannot lay claim to the power to judge what is true from what is not.

"We do not think it is right for Facebook to be the arbiter of truth and we do not have a policy that says you can only post things on Facebook which are true," Facebook policy director Simon Milner said in a Senate hearing on disinformation.

"You can imagine how difficult it would be for us to discern that and to decide," he added.

Facebook, he said, instead encourages users to report false articles or posts so these could be pushed further down the news feed, where it could be seen by less users.

With a billion users worldwide, Facebook has also distributed tips on how to spot false news and has partnered with government agencies to mount news literacy seminars.

The social media giant has also updated its policy to battle harassment of journalists, said Facebook head of community affairs Claire Deevy.

Milner said Facebook has also banned inauthentic or "troll" accounts.

ANC, 15 March 2018