Facebook Says Will Not Remove Fake News, Will Demote It Instead

Facebook Says Will Not Remove Fake News, Will Demote It Instead

I think part of the fundamental thing here is that we created Facebook to be a place where different people can have a voice. "We believe banning these Pages would be contrary to the basic principles of free speech". At a House hearing Tuesday over whether social media companies were suppressing certain political views, Maryland Democrat Jamie Raskin pressed Facebook's head of global policy management Monika Bickert about why the network would not remove Infowars, which called the high school students who survived this year's mass shooting in Parkland, Fla. "But we need to figure out a way to really define that in a clear way, and then figure out what our policy and our product positions are about that".

Facebook has come under fire for permitting InfoWars, a website run by right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, to maintain a presence on the web's largest social networking site.

Emailed for any additional comment after the event, Facebook spokeswoman Lauren Svensson said questions about InfoWars hit "on a very real tension" at the social media company.

The questions followed blowback after an event last week in NY with journalists that was meant to tout how it's fighting false news and misinformation.

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Mr. Jones, 44, launched the InfoWars website in 1999.

"I guess just for being false that doesn't violate the community standards", Hegeman said, saying Infowars had not incurred any violations that would result in its removal from Facebook. But as tech giants now grapple with how to prevent their platforms from being used to spread fake news and false information, InfoWars has found itself under pressure. According to the BBC, Facebook said publishers often had "very different points of view" and removing fabricated posts would be "contrary to the basic principles of free speech".

In response to New York Times journalist Kevin Roose disagreeing with its message, it added: "We understand you strongly disagree with our position". "Instead, we demote individual posts etc. that are reported by FB users and rated as false by fact checkers". It is known for disseminating outlandish conspiracy theories - for example, the false narrative that no children were actually killed in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in CT, and that their parents were "crisis actors".

Darcy asked Facebook why it didn't ban InfoWars, which has said that the Sandy Hook shooting did not happen and that 9/11 was an inside job, among other repugnant assertions. "They seem to have YouTube and Twitter accounts too - we imagine for the same reason". Specifically, during an event in the company's Manhattan offices, officials were unable to explain why the site was allowed to operate a Facebook page while the company attempts to crack down on "fake news".


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