Facebook Takes a Stand Against Fake News

Today, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said  that the company was exploring new ways to fight the spread of “misinformation” on its social platform amid criticism of its role in amplifying so-called fake news during the presidential campaign.

It is “technically and philosophically” difficult to determine what is fake and what to do about it, Mr. Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. “We believe in giving people a voice, which means erring on the side of letting people share what they want whenever possible,” he wrote.

Many observers have attacked the prevelance of made-up headlines on Facebook, arguing that they swayed votes in the election Nov. 8 and are continuing to distort reality.

Mr. Zuckerberg said new steps might include:

– Stronger detection. The most important thing we can do is improve our ability to classify misinformation. This means better technical systems to detect what people will flag as false before they do it themselves.

– Easy reporting. Making it much easier for people to report stories as fake will help us catch more misinformation faster.

– Third party verification. There are many respected fact checking organizations and, while we have reached out to some, we plan to learn from many more.

– Warnings. We are exploring labeling stories that have been flagged as false by third parties or our community, and showing warnings when people read or share them.

– Related articles quality. We are raising the bar for stories that appear in related articles under links in News Feed.

– Disrupting fake news economics. A lot of misinformation is driven by financially motivated spam. We’re looking into disrupting the economics with ads policies like the one we announced earlier this week, and better ad farm detection.

– Listening. We will continue to work with journalists and others in the news industry to get their input, in particular, to better understand their fact checking systems and learn from them.

The company earlier this week said it will stop serving ads to sites it decides are misleading or deceptive.

Let’s see how this goes. Take a look at this fake piece of ‘news’ which got over 10K shares in a matter of hours:

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-4-07-34-pm

Vote.

After almost a year of emails, tic-tacs, mud-slinging and shenanigans, the day has come – it’s time for us to select the next POTUS. To, um, celebrate and empower us, some brands are pulling out all the stops (or not).

Today the Uber app will feature a Google-powered search that automatically finds your polling place and orders a car to get you there. A reminder will pop up in the app encouraging users to vote and asking them to enter the address where they are registered.

Meanwhile, Zipcar is making more than 7,000 cars free on election day to help its members get to the polls. The vehicles can be reserved on the digital player’s website or mobile app. Of course, there’s a bigger part of the Boston-based company’s promotion—people who signed up for the company’s $7-a-month service before today will take advantage of the offer. Zipcar offered cars for 50 percent off on election day in 2012, and it more than doubled its reservations compared to a typical Tuesday.

And then there are those who want us to forget it all.

Encouraging viewers to “escape the election,” The Weather Channel will counter-program the final installment of the most bizarre and contentious presidential race in years.

Starting at 3 p.m ET the channel will air a marathon which will include the most beautiful, awe-inspiring, and calming weather video and scenery ever caught on tape.

“This world is a beautiful and magical place after all. So go vote America and check out election results, but if you want a break from the pundits, pontifications, predictions and politics… turn to Weather. It’s going to be huge.”

weather

And Hefty has wiped the web clean of smutty political ads over the past few days Hefty ads, reading “This political ad has been trashed thanks to Hefty,” have replaced all banner ads and potential political ads on a handful of websites including CNN’s homepage. Hefty also purchased ad space on Fox News, AOL and the Huffington Post’s politics page. Check it out but only after you vote:

Tumblr Gets Into the Election Mix

Recently Tumblr launched a new social impact campaign designed to get more millennials to vote.

Tumblr, in partnership with MTV’s Elect This voting initiative, is hosting a series of virtual Q&As called IssueTime, a spin-off of Tumblr’s AnswerTime Q&As. Each IssueTime brings together a panel of experts to answer users’ questions about a different social issue, including gun violence prevention, immigration reform, women’s health and empowerment, mental health, LGBT equality, climate change and national security.

tumblr-vote-pledge-hed-2016

The first panel was held on June 27 and focused on the history of the LGBT movement and featured experts from the Transgender Freedom Project and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Tumblr also will sponsor “Day of Action” takeovers with various advocacy and nonprofit organizations, posting content about these organizations and encouraging users to volunteer there.

The goals of the campaign are to drive more users to Tumblr and get more young people to vote.

I’m here for it; this election is an important one, guys.

Starbucks Pushes Baristas to Vote

The Race for the White House has thus far been quite interesting. I will just say, please be sure to get out and vote. If you work for Starbucks, you’ve likely heard this message from your boss in the past week or so.

Coffee company Starbucks is urging its American employees to register to vote, chairman and CEO Howard Schultz wrote in a letter on Monday.

“For decades we’ve created meaningful connections with our customers and served communities. We’re about to answer these questions once again by addressing a problem that many partners have identified as extremely important: increasing voter registration and participation across America.”

The company will be using TurboVote to make it easy for all U.S. employees to register to vote from both computers and mobile devices. Schultz said that he got the idea from a February forum with employees in Brooklyn when he asked what the company could do to emphasize citizenship.

There were even rumors last year that Schultz was considering a campaign for the White House himself, which he shut down with an August op-ed in the New York Times. However, that doesn’t mean that the CEO is loving the current batch of presidential candidates. Last month, Schultz said that the US presidential election has turned into a “circus” and he has “grave concern” about the country’s future.

This is not the first time Starbucks has promoted voting; they gave customers who said they voted on Election Day in 2008 a free cup of coffee. Here’s a flashback: