Earlier this morning, Facebook Vice President of Media Partnerships shared a new blog post on the company’s website detailing precisely how they intend to censor content with which they happen to disagree. Apparently all content providers who share “clickbait or sensationalism, or post misinformation and false news” will be deemed ineligible to monetize their efforts over Facebook.
To use any of our monetization features, you must comply with Facebook’s policies and terms, including our Community Standards, Payment Terms, and Page Terms. Our goal is support creators and publishers who are enriching our community. Those creators and publishers who are violating our policies regarding intellectual property, authenticity, and user safety, or are engaging in fraudulent business practices, may be ineligible to monetize using our features.
Creators and publishers must have an authentic, established presence on Facebook – they are who they represent themselves to be, and have had a profile or Page on Facebook for at least one month. Additionally, some of our features like Ad Breaks require a sufficient follower base, something that could extend to other features over time.
Those who share content that repeatedly violates our Content Guidelines for Monetization, share clickbait or sensationalism, or post misinformation and false news may be ineligible or may lose their eligibility to monetize.
Ironically, the biggest peddlers of “clickbait or sensationalism, or misinformation and false news” these days seems to be the largest, and ‘most respected’ mainstream media outlets…presumably there is a carve out for the likes of CNN, NYT and Wapo?
Of course, we first noted the efforts of Facebook to combat the spread of “fake news” over social media back in December 2016 when they first introduced a filter intended to flag ‘fake’ content so that users wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of critically analyzing information on their own. As we noted at the time, it was a genius plan, except for one small issue: who determines what is considered “fake news” and how exactly do they draw those conclusions? From our prior post (see “Facebook Launches Campaign To Combat “Fake News”“):
The first problem, however, immediately emerges because as NBC notes, “legitimate news outlets won’t be able to be flagged”, which then begs the question who or what is considered “legitimate news outlets”, does it include the likes of NYTs and the WaPos, which during the runup to the election declared on a daily basis, that Trump has no chance of winning, which have since posted defamatory stories about so-called “Russian propaganda news sites”, admitting subsequently that their source data was incorrect, and which many consider to be the source of “fake news”.
Also, just who makes the determination what is considered “legitimate news outlets.”
Luckily, Zuckerberg cleared up all the confusion in a subsequent post in which he basically admitted that all ‘fact-checking’ would be outsourced to disaffected Hillary voters and the completely impartial, ‘myth-busting’ website Snopes.com.
Historically, we have relied on our community to help us understand what is fake and what is not. Anyone on Facebook can report any link as false, and we use signals from those reports along with a number of others — like people sharing links to myth-busting sites such as Snopes — to understand which stories we can confidently classify as misinformation. Similar to clickbait, spam and scams, we penalize this content in News Feed so it’s much less likely to spread.
Keep in mind folks, this entire Facebook witch hunt has been prompted by $50,000 worth of ads that ‘MAY’ have been purchased by Russian-linked accounts to run ‘potentially politically related’ ads.