London, April 24
Responding to the criticism that Facebook has been facing over dissemination of fake news on the platform, the social media giant’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) has said that the company is not an “arbiter of truth”.
Speaking at BBC Newsnight, Sheryl Sandberg said: “We are really a platform and we take our responsibilities on false news very seriously. False news hurts everyone because it makes our community uninformed, it hurts our community, it hurts countries.”
“And we know that people want to see accurate news on Facebook and that’s what we want them to see,” she added, pointing out that having such an editorial voice was not “appropriate for us”.
The company has been making efforts to tackle the proliferation of misinformation on its platform and has taken several steps, including asking users to identify and weed out fake stories.
“We think everyone needs to do their part. Newsrooms have to do their part, media companies, classrooms and technology companies,” Sandberg said.
“We’re focused on decreasing the financial incentives for false news because a lot of times it is financially motivated. We all have to do our part to make sure that people see accurate information and figuring out how we do that is something that we’re going to have to see and will evolve,” she added.
Earlier this month, Facebook led a consortium that poured $14 million into the creation of a News Integrity Initiative.
The News Integrity Initiative aims to develop tools that will help people be sensitive towards stories they read online. (IANS)