As reported in the New York Times, Google and Facebook “stroll to the starting line.” I am not talking about a foot race here, but rather the rate of responsiveness in their efforts to vett or block the reporting of fake news on their websites. Here is one account of what these two companies have been doing: “Google and Facebook have been taking steps to curb the number of false news articles propagated across their sites. On Wednesday, the Silicon Valley companies showed that they were still in the early stages of their battle to limit misinformation online.”
Just this week, these tech giants announced that recent updates to their sites will help prevent hoaxes and fake news from being posted. Still, industry watchdogs remain skeptical about the effectiveness of these moves. Some experts remain unconvinced: “Nothing drives clicks better than when the headline is exactly what people want to hear or believe. . . without significant changes to the economies and the technology of online ads, banning individual sites would not produce change in the long run.” In many ways, these efforts showed how the fight against fake news remains a work in progress.
So I guess it all comes back to the individual reader of the news. Whether it’s digital or print, what we choose to believe may all still be in the “eye of the beholder.”