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Teleguided democracy vs. social networks

Close up of friends with circle of smart phones.

Shareholders have proposed that Facebook Inc prepare a report on the threat to democracy and free speech from so-called ‘fake’ news spread on the social media forum, and the dangers it may pose to the company itself, according to US mass-media reports.

The proposal, which suggested Facebook had provided “a financial mechanism supporting fabricated content” on the internet, suggests the company review the issue broadly, including the extent to which it blocks ‘fake’ posts, how its strategies impact free speech and how it evaluates claims in posts.

“Facebook is highly vulnerable, as ‘fake’ news promoters are spamming their way to visibility for fake news through strategically gaming Facebook’s algorithms and publishing platform,” the proposal states.

“In light of the societal crisis generated by the explosion of ‘fake’ news and related hate speech, failure to effectively manage this issue creates public policy risk,” it said.

The move is a part of a broader movement of the establishment against social media seen a threat to teleguided democracy and increased demands of citizens to consult them prior to taking crucial political decisions. The term ‘fake’ news was coined to label any unfiltered by establishment piece of information, bypassing existing filters represented by mainstream media claiming to be the ultimate guardians of ‘free speech’.

 

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