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Obama denounces fake news trend

Subhed: “The U.S. president denounced the spate of misinformation across social media platforms, including Facebook, suggesting American politics can be affected.”From the Guardian (“Barack Obama on fake news: ‘We have problems’ if we can’t tell the difference“):

President Barack Obama has spoken out about fake news on Facebook and other media platforms, suggesting that it helped undermine the US political process.

“If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not, if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems,” he said during a press conference in Germany.

Since the surprise election of Donald Trump as president-elect, Facebook has battled accusations that it has failed to stem the flow of misinformation on its network and that its business model leads to users becoming divided into polarized political echo chambers.

Obama said that we live in an age with “so much active misinformation” that is “packaged very well” and looks the same whether it’s on Facebook or on TV.

“If everything seems to be the same and no distinctions are made, then we won’t know what to protect. We won’t know what to fight for. And we can lose so much of what we’ve gained in terms of the kind of democratic freedoms and market-based economies and prosperity that we’ve come to take for granted,” he said.

These comments come after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rejected the “crazy idea” that fake news on the social network swayed voters in the US presidential election. That’s in spite of analysis by BuzzFeed that showed that fake news on the site outperformed real news in the run-up to polling day.

Thu, November 17 2016 » Main Page, Media, politics