On Thursday, the owners of stock of Facebook – the social networking site – were rebuffed after they called on the leaders of the social media company to share more information about what steps they are taking to control fake news and address the circulation of false reports.
Facebook may think it’s just ‘Fake News’ but shareholders don’t
The shareholders of Facebook stock asked the leaders of the social media giant to make a report on the subject. The social networking site, however, said that a report was unnecessary and would not benefit the tech giant. The proposal was presented at the annual meeting of the U.S.-based tech giant – which is headed by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg – but the proposal did not pass.
Many were expecting that to happen as the Facebook CEO controls a majority of the voting power of the social media giant. However, CEO Zuckerberg addressed the issue as part of his remarks, indicating to the actions that the social network took to stop fake news from spreading, one of them being: ‘making it more difficult for spammers to make money from ads.’
The social networking site has said that it is experimenting with its news feed and is testing new features to make it easier to report questionable posts. The social networking site announced that it is planning to hire around 3,000 more people as well to control and monitor posts.
Facebook to invest in AI to remove fake news
The Facebook CEO said that the social networking site is expecting to invest more in artificial technology but “the technology is not 100% there yet.” He added, “The right way to go about this problem is to fight information with more information.”
After the US presidential election last year, the social media giant faced a backlash when studies discovered that fake news was widely viewed through the social networking site. The CEO has initially dismissed the studies which said that fake news shaped the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election. Since then, the social network has conceded that it observed propaganda efforts by governments.
The social network cannot afford to think of itself as a neutral platform, said Natasha Lamb of Arjuna Capital, who presented the fake news proposal at the annual meeting. She even called the steps the tech giant has taken “too little, too late”. She further said, “Investors seek assurance that fake news, fabricated content and hate speech is being handled responsibly over time.” During the question and answer session, the leaders of the social network said that they knew fake news was a turn-off for users. They added that investors/shareholders should expect more announcements related to the issue.