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Facebook says experts can’t be trusted, wants community to decide which media to trust

22nd January 2018

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Note: This post has been moved from Latest Picks due to length of extended updates.

While still squirming that ad revenue cash it was paid that may have helped Russians if not disaffected Americans keen to elect an ego obsessed orange tycoon (Latest Picks 29th November 2017):

Facebook shirks responsibility, says experts can’t be trusted (cnet.com).

Mark Zuckerberg: “I can hear you”
The man whose to fix Facebook would prefer you to do it for him. All of you. All of you who can be bothered to answer surveys on Facebook, that is. This is the remedy CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday for deciding which media outlets are trustworthy sources of information.

A situation the that is seemingly doubted to help or indeed appeal to anything more than the preference of any particular F’book bubble you and your “friends” are in:

Facebook will ask some questions about whether you think a certain publication is trustworthy, and then it will look at all the data it’s collected from respondents. That’s going to work, isn’t it? Some will say that the Daily Anarchist is a fine, trusted source. Others will insist it’s the Hammer and Sickle Express.

While others will intimidatingly insist everything other than what they heard in Moose ’n’ Buck’s virtual truck stop basement ManOChat is cuckservative impotence if not fake news supporting a feminist or vegan agenda.

“We considered asking outside experts, which would take the decision out of our hands but would likely not solve the objectivity problem,” [said] Zuckerberg.

Seemingly meaning as with moderation on GoogleTube, F’book would rather its “community” moderate and flag what it perhaps needs to be seen doing something about:

Facebook insists it has a “community.” I put the word in inverted commas, as I’m not convinced there’s any such thing. Just because you have an enormous number of users, it doesn’t mean they’re bonded into anything other than the small groups in which they spend their Facebook time. Still, Facebook has often preferred to throw decision-making over to that “community.” Because it allows the company to avoid responsibility for larger decisions. And, oh, it’s cheaper.

Updated 26th January 2018

And that shirked responsibility is perhaps even more dangerous than making Americans swear they “knew he was a rotter all along” when they finally have to admit populism was more for a tycoons ego than for anything in their interest:

George Soros: Facebook and Google a menace to society (theguardian.com).

George Soros, World Economic Forum in Davos

And the billionaire investor and philanthropist suggesting at the World Economic Forum in Davos that their “days are numbered”.

“Mining and oil companies exploit the physical environment; social media companies exploit the social environment,” said the Hungarian-American businessman, according to a transcript of his speech. “This is particularly nefarious because social media companies influence how people think and behave without them even being aware of it. This has far-reaching adverse consequences on the functioning of democracy, particularly on the integrity of elections.”

And let us not forget despite all their “bring the world closer together” (techcrunch.com, Jun. 2017) and “don’t be evil” rhetoric, they are in it for the same reasons as other companies such as the okay to hate ones such as Micro$oft:

In addition to skewing democracy, social media companies “deceive their users by manipulating their attention and directing it towards their own commercial purposes” and “deliberately engineer addiction to the services they provide”. The latter, he said, “can be very harmful, particularly for adolescents”.

Indeed, I hear you don’t exist to your peers unless you are on F’book—and that’s not just adolescents but increasingly your formally computer illiterate neighbors keen to coordinate their middle aged, pale-ale drinking UKippery supporting neighbourhood watch and blame—which is obviously very good for both to tempt you with increasingly personally targeted, constantly tracking ad revenue (qz.com).

Soros warned of an “even more alarming prospect” on the horizon if data-rich internet companies such as Facebook and Google paired their corporate surveillance systems with state-sponsored surveillance—a trend that’s already emerging in places such as the Philippines.

With it revealed last year that most of F’books “moderation army” are indeed actually Filipinos working grueling hours for £1.81 an hour (dailymail.co.uk, May 2017).

And while F’book turns to its “community” to decide whether Bigfoot exists and indeed, should be president after Mr. Magoo takes over from Orange Don (Latest Picks 11th Aug. 2017):

Google is testing a new app that would let anyone publish a local news story (slate.com).

Google Bulletin
A website first spotted online Thursday describes Bulletin as “an app for contributing hyperlocal stories about your community, for your community, right from your phone.” It’s designed to make it “effortless” to tell “the stories that aren’t being told” via your smartphone. It’s not just for techie early adopters: “If you are comfortable taking photos or sending messages, you can create a Bulletin story!”, the site says.

Oh crikey, currently a limited pilot in Nashville and Oakland, you can see where Google “looking for a way to help people publicize worthwhile stories of more modest, local interest” is going to lead.

There are also, of course, some risks involved in promoting amateur news reporting. The potential for misinformation is probably higher when the reporters lack professional credentials or a news organization to verify and stand behind their work. It’s unclear what kind of editing, if any, will be a part of the undertaking.

Indeed, stories about “that cow at No. 22 having her music too loud again” and “slut at No. 34 was seen out with respectable married Mr Doodah at No. 43” and the litigational news stories about the quite loner at No. 49 being a sex offender, a similar situation that has made F’book with its real-name policy a valuable tool for middle aged fishwifery and pale-ale drinking UKippery “neighbourhood watch” societal blame in our block.

And seemingly confirming ex-engineers—no not the women aren’t biologically fit to do tech one (8th August 2017)—comment this week about Google being too obsessed with its rivals (cnet.com) and suggesting, not to be left out looking for ways to shuffle its definitely not responsible feet, its a rather mutually obsessive copying thing:

Facebook this week began testing in Olympia, Washington, a local news and events page that highlights stories from local media.

But the article finds defense for the “need for such a tool” in the last paragraph that:

It’s easy to see the need for such a tool, however. For people without a large following, even a newsworthy tweet or YouTube video can fall flat. Just look at Sami Cone, who as far as I can tell had the world exclusive on the launch of Google Bulletin. At the time that I wrote this, her tweets about it had garnered just one like; her YouTube video, 11 views.

Such a shame that a link to her “world exclusive” on Twitter could not be given along with the mention to give her the exposure to gain more than one like; perhaps editorial policy but would perhaps help her avoid being reliant on reporting the disgraceful state of the drains in her street herself if she really gives much thought or care to getting those likes.

Updated 30th January 2018

Indeed, Google and F’book, failing to stop abuse on the global scale, both simultaneously with no look over shoulder involved deciding community needs to know who’s selling what in who’s backyard and where to get the best deep pan pizza in your town.

Facebook to push more local news into your feed (pcmag.com).

“Local news helps build community—both on and offline. It’s an important part of making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is valuable,’ the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. The change is part of a Facebook overhaul to reduce noise over the service. Overall, the company intends to feature less news on the site in favor of posts from family, friends, and groups. But when articles do appear, they’ll be from trusted media sources.

The “noise” being all that fuss regards payment for duplicitous Russian paid elections ads (Latest Picks 29th Nov. 2017) beyond local opinion news on what exactly Mr Doodah was doing with that spade in the dead of night down the bottom of his garden.

Updated 1st February 2018

Facebook’s usage decline should have investors worried—no matter what Mark Zuckerberg says (businessinsider.com).

Mark Zukerberg: “C’mon, loval news about size Mrs Wanton’s ripe melons make you wanna click those ads.”
Org. image: McNamee/Getty Images
In announcing its holiday period results Wednesday, the tech giant revealed that usage of its service declined by an average of 50 million hours a day. That’s a 5% drop, Zuckerberg noted on a call with investors and analysts, linking it to recent changes the company made to what it shows users in their news feed.

Seemingly marking it as intentional with desire to cut down on the amount of viral videos and “news stories from publishers and other organizations” while encouraging all to surmise exactly what that funny smell sometimes wafting from Mr Doodah’s garden really is and wonder when exactly Mrs Doodah is coming back from her sisters.

But, of course, spin and bury it as he likes, the danger is that as with audience the money men will go away too, eventually making it the new MySpace:

How much time users devote to Facebook is a big concern, because advertisers—whose spending comprises nearly all of the company’s revenues—determine where to place their ads in part based on where their target users spend their time.

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