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Den stærkt venstreorienterede gruppe Media Matters hævder at have indledt et samarbejde med Facebook om at censurere «propaganda» og «fake news», melder the Washington Free Beacon.

Media Matters skulle have tilbudt sin ekspertise med at bekæmpe «propaganda» og «fake news», fremgår det af ikke offentliggjorte dokumenter som the Washington Free Beacon (WFB) har fået adgang til.

Samarbejdet foregår i det skjulte, skriver WFB:

“We’ve been engaging with Facebook leadership behind the scenes to share our expertise and offer input on developing meaningful solutions,” the group said in a briefing book obtained by the Washington Free Beacon at the conference.”

Media Matters oplyste under et møde med donorer i Florida, at man har haft drøftelser med Facebooks ledelse om deres politik om «upræcise» og «ubalancerede» nyheder på Facebook. Mange liberale giver sådanne nyheder skylden for politiske tab i fjor, både i præsidentvalget og valgene til senatet og kongressen.

“We’ve been engaging with Facebook leadership behind the scenes to share our expertise and offer input on developing meaningful solutions,” the group said in a briefing book obtained by the Washington Free Beacon at the conference.

“Media Matters will serve as their partner,” the group said of its work with Facebook and other social media companies.”

Konservative har hævdet, at Facebook med overlæg marginaliserer højreorienterede stemmer – en påstand som tilsyneladende bekræftes af selskabets samarbejde med Media Matters, der har vært stærkt kritisk over for konservative tanker og ideer.

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Media Matters, a self-styled media watchdog, is retooling its mission to place greater emphasis on “fake news,” a loosely defined category of misinformation that has been invoked to attack everything from Russian propaganda efforts to political blogs deemed factually dubious.

In his speech to last weekend’s conference, Media Matters founder David Brock blamed “fake news,” among other maladies, for the November loss of his preferred presidential candidate, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

(…)

“After Facebook responded to our campaign by acknowledging the problem of fake news and agreeing to do something about it, we began a dialogue,” the briefing book says. “It became clear from these conversations that Facebook needed our help in fully understanding the problem and identifying concrete solutions.”

Media Matters’ goal is to get Facebook to “adjust its model to stem the flow of damaging fake news on its platform’s pages.”

En talsperson for Facebook afslog at kommentere det påståede samarbejde med Media Matters, som også skal have gjort fremstød over for Google:

Media Matters has also been trying to enlist Google in its fake news fight, though it is not clear whether it has engaged in the same level of behind-the-scenes collaboration with the search engine giant that it has with Facebook.

“After Google revised their terms of service in order to prohibit so-called fake news sites from using their advertising network, it was Media Matters that had the information necessary to identify 40 of the worst fake news sites to which this policy applied,” the briefing book states.

If Media Matters is successful, it adds, “Google will cut off these pages’ accompanying sites’ access to revenue by pulling their access to Google’s ad platform.”

Google ville ikke svare på spørgsmål om sin kontakt med gruppen. Men både Facebook og Google har for nylig ageret på en måde, som falder i tråd med Media Matters’ erklærede mål.

Facebook announced on Wednesday that it would change the algorithm behind its popular “trending topics” section, which will now base popularity on the number of Facebook-designated publishers discussing a story, rather than the number of users discussing it.

Google also said on Wednesday that it has banned 200 publishers from its advertising network as part of its efforts to combat fake news sites. The company refused to say which sites had been targeted.

Media Matters blev grunnlagt i 2004 af den politiske aktivist David Brock. Målet med virksomheden er å overvåge og motarbejde konservative ytringer i medierne. I 2013 omsatte de for mere end 12 millioner dollars.

 

The Washington Free Beacon: Media Matters Says It Is Secretly Working with Facebook to Fight ‘Fake News’

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