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During a speech this week at Menlo Park, Californiaâ€™s Rosewood Sand Hill hotel, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced to an audience of high-ranking media executives that his companyâ€™s platform has begun ranking news organizations and their pages based on â€œtrustworthiness,â€ in what appears to be the social media-giantâ€™s next foray into combating so-called â€œfake news.â€
While the Facebook co-founder stopped short of clarifying exactly which variables and metrics will be used to constitute a news outletâ€™s trustworthiness, he did roughly outline the process being employed.
â€œWe put [that data] into the system, and it is acting as a boost or a suppression, and weâ€™re going to dial up the intensity of that over time,â€ Zuckerberg said, adding that â€œWe feel like we have a responsibility to further [break] down polarization and find common ground.â€
Before an audience of media executives, including representatives from Buzz Feed News, Quartz, the New York Times, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Information, NBC, Recode, Barronâ€™s, The Daily Beast, The Economist, The Huffington Post, Insider, The Atlantic, The New York Post and many more, Zuckerberg went on to assert that Facebook is investing â€œbillions of dollarsâ€ into a combination of artificial intelligence (AI), as well as â€œtens of thousands of human moderators,â€ as part of the firm’s more diligent effort to keep â€œfake news and deliberate propagandaâ€ at bay, particularly during election periods, Breitbart News reports.
â€œWeâ€™re essentially going to be losing money on doing political ads,â€ Zuckerberg said, though he acknowledged that â€œThe big miss is we didnâ€™t expect these kind of coordinated information operations.â€
Zuckerbergâ€™s comments were delivered during this weekâ€™s annual Facebook F8 developers conference, and represent a clear attempt to discourage news outlets from either directly or indirectly engaging in the publication of fake or misleading news.
They also come just a few weeks after his high-profile appearance before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, during which the Facebook CEO was grilled by Senators about his knowledge of the highly-publicized Cambridge Analytics data scandal, and about his companyâ€™s apparent suppression of certain media outlets with more conservative-leaning narratives.