A Call for Cooperation Against Fake News
Jeff Jarvis
1K132

Fake news is only a subset of a bigger issue – for plenty of “credible & verifiable news” is markedly different to the whole truth & nothing but the truth. The selection and emphasis of some news and de-emphasis of other news – leads to disproportionate news – that warps perception as much as fake news.

One form of dishonesty is selectively sharing information, or emphasising some information more than other information, to architect perception.

Another form of dishonesty is intentionally sustaining a persons view, knowing theirs to be a misunderstanding. This can cascade forward to, where an ignorant person shares misinformation, their actions driven by worthwhile motives, unaware of their ignorance.

The stories in the media chosen focus our attention and give precedence on certain issues, regardless of their importance, in balanced proportion to all the issues. This maintains the prominence of certain agenda items while others fade out of view, if they were ever known at all.

Facebook’s algorithms can improve all the above, provided they calculate what to do from the spirit of making people smarter, improving their mental models and supporting them in keeping their biases in check. It is this approach we need smarter thinking on, not just mitigation of fake news.

With visibility algorithms that vie to make people smarter as a context, better tools & methods to identify, classify and mitigate fake news and meme-transmission, may spur a virtuous cycle of crowd wisdom reinforcing itself!

More detailed thinking along these lines here: https://medium.com/@ThomasODuffy/facebook-fake-news-the-madness-of-networked-crowds-4293e8fafbc#.iwqmbzx13