With social media and the internet nearing its 20th anniversary since its introduction to society, Facebook has made a decision to partner with a German news agency, DPA, to ensure companies are telling the truth! In a world of “fake news”, the stance against false advertisement and meddling is becoming more intolerable as it has started interfering with politics and policies that have been in place for years prior to the fairly new social media era. Places like Germany are taking drastic measures to put an end to “hate speeches” so much so that they have put laws in place that now force companies to delete posts found unsuitable or offensive. Companies that refuse to follow the rules risk the chance of being fined up to 50 million euros.
Allegations of Russia meddling in the outcome of the U.S. presidential election definitely were derived from social media controversy. Social media has allowed companies and individuals to share ideas, opinions, and images at a faster rate than ever before. Individuals near and far can now meet in groups and express themselves with ease. While this is great for self-expression the issue of gathering to spread fictional stories is where a problem has raised. There is no true way to separate fact from fiction and I believe that it’s up to social media companies to provide content barriers so that the public can make more informed decisions and have better suited discussions.
Facebook, for the past two years has made this a priority. The company plans to create a special center employing engineers, data scientists, and researches around the clock to ensure that the content put out if threatening or false can be identified with quicker measures. These efforts would employ approximately 30,000 people by the end of this year. Tessa Lyons, the head of news feed and integrity at Facebook states “In addition to human intervention, Facebook is constantly refining its machine learning tools to identify untrustworthy messages and limit their distribution.”
Is it possible that other social media sites will catch on and possibly filter content so that “fake news” can be put to an end? Is this something that we as a society can accept or will we defend our right to post fictional stories according to our first amendment rights? Is this the beginning of the censoring of a nation? Many questions can rise from the new fight that Facebook has embarked on, to give society the truth. I personally can see the great that can come from this but how far will it go? Will the truth prevail?