Facebook has been talking to tech and media veterans to hire someone to oversee the efforts the company has put in place in recent weeks to push back against fake news, butit has been having a hard time finding someone with the requisite news and technology know-how, reported Recode.
Sources told Recode the position will report to Fidji Simo, Facebook’s VP in charge of news and video, and the person hired will be charged with creating news products and identifying new ways to stem the flow of fake news on its social media platforms.
Fake News Is Bad for Business
The role is reportedly different than the one for which Facebook tapped Campbell Brown, the TV journalist, back in January. Brown is charged with leading its news partnership team that is mainly focused on communicating with the news media, reported Recode. The job ad isn’t posted on the company’s website and Facebook declined to comment, noted the report. The move on the part of Facebook comes at a time when it is facing criticism and advertising backlash over the spread of fake news on its platforms. (See also: WPP CEO: Why Is There Fake News Next to My Ads?)
During the run-up to the 2016 U.S. election, Facebook faced a lot of criticism that it helped spread fake news, favored liberal content over conservative content and otherwise affected the election. Facebook has been launching a lot of initiatives to fight the spread of fake news including rolling out the Journalism Project which is aimed at creating a healthier news ecosystem on the platform. As part of this project, Facebook said it will promote news literacy and develop additional tools to fight false news. One of Facebook's more prominent efforts is the recent launch of the "disputed tag" that now sits alongside stories on Facebook’s news feed. If a user reports a news story as fake, and that is deemed to be the case, the story will be tagged "disputed." Facebook is relying on nonpartisan third parties to determine if a news story flagged is fake or factual. (See also: Facebook Adds Dispute Tag to Flag Fake News.)