“These are the tools necessary to do real censorship of real and important ideas. Whether Facebook intends to use them that way initially or not, and I’m sure it doesn’t, the simple fact is that there’s no other way a trend toward censorship could possibly start, than this. Simply by setting a precedent that this can be done, by creating the software tools and acclimatizing the public to the idea that their view of current events has been pre-fact checked by their peers and even less accountable forces, Facebook is stepping toward a precipice. And when it has significantly more users than China has citizens, that means it’s taking the whole world right along with it.”
This is an interesting opinion piece, and one I mostly agree with. (The penchant of “established” media to publish stories that are not exactly true is much greater than I think the author seems to recognize, for one.)
The fact is that once Facebook heads down this path, it will prove that it has the ability to “hide” stories, and once that is proven, they will find themselves being ordered to do so by governments which want to hide those stories. As Facebook tries to do business in China, the EU, and with the increasingly paranoid US, that pressure will become immense.
Facebook will be left in a no-win situation, and don’t for a minute think that isn’t the whole idea behind this push to get rid of “fake” news. To get social media companies to do what the governments can’t do themselves.