Facebook will now penalize Facebook groups if individual users post news articles, videos, or images the platform considers “false news.”
After a user in the Facebook group “God Emperor Trump: Official” posted an article the website considers fake, admins of the group were given a notification that their entire group could be penalized if the behavior is repeated.
According to Facebook’s message, the platform will use its endless fight against “false news” as an excuse to “push all of that group’s content down in News Feed, which may mean fewer people visit the group.”
The platform “may also stop suggesting that people join the group.”
Thank you Fascistbook, very cool! pic.twitter.com/pBrjDcodPW
— God Emperor Trump (@realGETrump) April 12, 2019
“God Emperor Trump: Official” uses an all volunteer group of moderators to police its content and ensure it follows Facebook’s community standards. The platform now expects this volunteer group of conservatives to independently research and vet the truthfulness of every post in the group, a superhuman feat the multi billion dollar platform itself has trouble doing effectively.
This also raises concerns about satire. News checkers have repeatedly fact checked articles by Babylon Bee, a Christian satire website, branding them as “fake news” for their satirical content.
In 2018, fact checkers called a satire article from Babylon Bee claiming that CNN purchased an industrial sized washing machine to spin the news before publication “fake news.” They did the same with a satire article suggesting Planned Parenthood defended Bill Cosby because sexual assault was “only 4%” of what he does.
This year fact checkers felt the need to declare another Babylon Bee article claiming CNN hired hoaxer Jussie Smollett after he formed a story out of thin air “fake news.”
All of these satire articles, when posted to Facebook, now come with a disclaimer showing they are not real news.
The development raises the questions: Should volunteer moderators for “God Emperor Trump: Official” prohibit group members from posting satire articles? Are satirical memes safe?
This also raises concerns about potential abuse. It is now entirely possible for radical leftists to infiltrate conservative Facebook groups and purposely post fake news articles to destroy the group.
If taken to its furthest logical conclusion, perhaps moderators should only allow only articles from CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News in the conservative group to be safe.
Facebook’s new enforcement measure seems to be another thinly veiled attempt to censor conservatives by holding them to unreasonable standards, and offering no clarification about what is acceptable and what the volunteer moderators should censor.
Twitter Posts Job Posting for Developing Paid Subscription Service; Will Platform Become Pay-to-Use?
Will it lead to the downfall of the platform?
Shares for Twitter’s stock surged more than 8% on Wednesday as the company posted an online job listing for a developer who would work on a new system designed as a pay-to-use platform.
The job listing advertises the opening for a project team termed “Gryphon.” The company describes the team as creating a “subscription platform” that “can be reused by other teams in the future.”
In a statement to CNN on the job listing, Twitter underplayed the announcement, stating that it was only a job listing, not a product announcement.
“We’re conducting this survey to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of Tweetdeck. We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we’re exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals.”
CEO Jack Dorsey has resisted shareholder demands to reorganize Twitter to prioritize profitability, most recently fending off a buyout attempt staged by oligarch Paul Singer challenging his leadership of the company. Dorsey kept his position of power over the company after reaching an agreement with profit-hungry shareholders, and the new development of paid subscription software could signal he intends to further satisfy them.
The company’s major investors will likely be pleased by any sign the company intends to convert its service into a pay-to-use model, evolving away from the tradition business model of micro-targeted ads towards its user base. However, a change to a subscription model could prove to be a threat to Twitter’s appeal, especially when newer free speech platforms are gunning for the platform’s user base and the company caves to the demands of censorious liberal journalists in suspending a variety of public figures deemed inconvenient to the neoliberal societal model.
Ultimately, the greed and thirst for power of the privileged elites of Silicon Valley could possibly bring about an end to their era of domination over online political speech, heralding a renaissance of the internet.
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