Facebook has an interesting relationship with new outlets. The social media giant is the largest content provider in the world, yet produces no content. But lately there have been cracks in the relationship as Facebook has come under fire for censoring content and for its “fake news” troubles. Now, Facebook has taken a big step towards mending relations by hiring former CNN prime-time host Campbell Brown to lead the newly created “News Partnerships” team. What can we expect from Brown in this role? And how will it impact Facebook?
Facebook Appoints Campbell Brown To Lead Media Partnerships Team
Facebook relies on news organizations for content, and those news outlets rely on Facebook for distribution and exposure to get readers to their sites. But Facebook has come under fire recently for spreading fake news – particularly during the recent presidential election. The company was criticized for not doing anything to stop false articles and misinformation from being circulated, and some critics say that lack of action had a hand in Donald Trump’s surprise victory. Facebook created a news partnership team and assigned former CNN prime-time host Campbell Brown to lead it in hopes of repairing its damaged relationship with traditional media. But what can Brown and her team really hope to do?
Fake news is definitely a problem for Facebook. Fake news is stories and posts from sites designed specifically to spread misinformation to people. The problem comes when average Facebook users take a fake story, read it, and then share it (along with their outrage) to the rest of their online network. Then another friend shares it and another and another, with no one stopping to say “wait, is did this actually happen?” Fake news is a problem for traditional news sites, as well. Those site often get overlooked as users skip the real news for outlandish and shocking fake headlines.
Facebook is working hand in hand with the Associated Press, Politifact, and Snopes to fact check articles that appear in the Facebook news feed in an effort to prevent the spread of misinformation. Hiring Brown is part of their plan to balance the scales, but what is their plan moving forward? Facebook has already said Brown will not be an editor-in-chief, and will have no say in content decisions. So how can she repair relationships if she has no voice in what goes up on the site?
Tech Vision has more info on her appointment:
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While Brown may have no voice in what content goes up, she has more than 15 years in news, and can pass on knowledge and best practices to a team of Facebook editors, who may then be able to start cleaning up the feed. And as for repairing relations with news partners, Brown will be working closely with outside news outlets to educate them on Facebook best practices and how to utilize the platform to get more readers to their own sites. It’s a solid move by Facebook, who is investing in not only top news talent, but in educating partners rather than simply trying to write new products and code to fix the issue.
Facebook, Inc. (FB) shares jumped up on the news, and should continue to rise.
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