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Some Journalists Aren’t Happy About Facebook Wanting to Assess Their Trustworthiness

Gabriella Hoffman
by Gabriella Hoffman Read Profile arrow_right_alt

Facebook has its great share of problems, but could them assessing the trustworthiness of individual journalists be good? A lot of links and ads that circulate the popular social media platform have questionable origins and not just from some obscure conservative blogs. Leftists have their share of bad actors too.

Here’s what the goals of this push are:

One option the company is considering is a dedicated space for news on Facebook, not revealing any specific details of what it would look like. Another is a tool allowing publishers to build subscriptions via the platform with pricing, data harvesting and contracts being determined by publishers and readers.

Doub added that Facebook is putting together a list of trustworthy news sources, in addition to actively down-ranking clickbait content.

“We look to treat trustworthy reporters and news organisations differently. It’s not only about the New York Times or Der Spiegel, we also look at individual journalists.”

The project sees a host of different experts, such as academics, journalists and lawyers working together to determine trustworthiness of news sources.

“We want to support independent journalism,” Doub affirmed, adding that the purpose of the list is not to ban or rank people but to create a database of sources that can be trusted and treated differently to everyone else.

“We also work with organisations like RISJ to find better ways to support journalism, especially local news ” he added.

Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith thinks this “Uber-approach” to business is bad, especially for allowing competition on trustworthiness. His publication—best known for cat memes— pushed fake news itself. He tweeted:

Many left-leaning journalists have the propensity to push fake news. After all, journalism is overwhelmingly dominated by registered Democrats.

If this recommendation gives objective, local news entities the ability to occupy more space on the platform, all power to Facebook. More voices, not fewer.


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