Fake News Is An ‘Existential Threat’ To Facebook, It Tells BBC

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Speaking at the BBC Beyond Fake News conference in Delhi, India, representatives from Twitter, Facebook, and Google have spoken together for the first time in open discussion about fake news on their platforms. They discussed the threat the phenomenon poses, as well as the decision making process around choosing what to take down and what to keep up on their platforms.

Twitter, Facebook, and Google have revealed they have no board level positions that tackle fake news.

Irene Jay Liu – Lead for Google News Labs, Asia Pacific region – Google

“In terms of identifying what is misinformation, there is a certain limit we have. We don’t want to sit in judgment.  We identify certain parameters around which misinformation exists and then we leave it to fact checking agencies.”

“We believe training and upskilling is important and that’s why we launched the google news initiative training network which will train 8,000 journalists in several local languages. We have already trained over 10,000 journalists.”

Vijayya Gadde, Global Head of Trust and Safety – Twitter

“We do not have a policy that you cannot speak untruths on Twitter. Even if you can report it, what do we do with it?”

“Do you want individual companies like ours to make decisions about what is true and what is not? That would be a tremendous challenge.”

Manish Khanduri, Head of News PartnershipsFacebook 

“[Fake news] is an existential threat to the platform. As a social media platform we are devoted to doing good and misinformation is the opposite of that. [Mark Zuckerberg] has created a large number of teams to look at this.”

“If that violates community standards, e.g. pornography,….that content, we have a very strong process for it and that gets taken down immediately. But when somebody says this is propaganda from a political party, we are entering the realms of speculation as well as opinion and that’s not what Facebook could do.”

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