Facebook’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, says the social network is working to find a “Balance“Between fighting the disinformation of fake news and grant freedom of expression. But in the meantime, the pressure grows because Facebook monitor bogus vaccine news. A pressure that even comes from the White House.
Facebook wants to find a “balance” in managing fake news
In an interview released Thursday, Clegg explained that the social network is taking steps to prevent disinformation. Which, as we have seen in the case of vaccinations for Covid-19, can also have serious effects on the health of users. Facebook is hiring fact-checkers, is directing people to authoritative and safe sources. Furthermore, is blocking some content.
But Clegg also commented that he doesn’t want a Silicon Valley company to become the “absolute truth police“. Former British Deputy Prime Minister Clegg commented: “We cannot eliminate the right of people in a free society to express reservations about how the pandemic is managed, not least because scientific consensus changes.” This reference is to the decision to stop removing news that the coronavirus was created in the laboratory after the statements of the American security agencies.
Criticism from the Biden administration
Facebook has recently come under criticism for failing to promptly remove fake news about Covid-19. Even the American president Joe Biden said the company could have done more. But the social media said it will remove information related to the virus when health authorities deem it dangerous. Clegg agreed that Facebook could have done more but says there is a risk in removing too much content.
“We also want to give people space for express their opinions, even if they are opinions that are not always completely accurate or even if they may offend others. We can’t clean up the internet and I don’t think we want Facebook to pasteurize the content, ”he comments. Even if by their nature fake news are not opinions but fake news. There is a difference between expressing one’s thoughts and reporting lies based on false evidence and potentially dangerous.
Clegg also commented that he agrees in the change Section 230, a federal law that pays social media responsible for user-generated content. But he says Facebook only supports that if companies don’t have content control mechanisms, they can be accountable. So for Facebook there would be no change.