Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) isn’t taking its fake news problem seriously enough, and the efforts of those hired to stop the issue are simply being used to peddle a narrative that the social media behemoth is actually tackling the problem.
That’s according to a number of workers that informed The Guardian of their concerns about the topic this week:
Journalists working for Facebook say the social media site’s fact-checking tools have largely failed and that the company has exploited their labor for a PR campaign.
Several fact checkers who work for independent news organizations and partner with Facebook told the Guardian that they feared their relationships with the technology corporation, some of which are paid, have created a conflict of interest, making it harder for the news outlets to scrutinize and criticize Facebook’s role in spreading misinformation.
The journalists are also down about the fact that FB doesn’t disclose any data about its efforts to block fake news items on its platform. Facebook has been attempting to combat the issue for the past year, amid pressure to crack down on false news articles that began spreading in the run-up to last year’s presidential election.
Since then, Facebook has admitted its role in allowing Russian operatives to purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of ads on its platform. The content of those ads was often blatantly false and inflammatory, with the operation aimed at throwing the election into chaos.
U.S. regulators have put pressure on the world’s largest social network to fight the problem more vehemently in recent months.
Facebook Inc shares were trading at $177.90 per share on Tuesday afternoon, down $0.87 (-0.49%). Year-to-date, FB has gained 54.63%, versus a 16.67% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.