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Den sterkt venstreorienterte gruppen Media Matters hevder de har innledet samarbeid med Facebook om å sensurere «propaganda» og «fake news», melder the Washington Free Beacon.

Media Matters skal tilby sin ekspertise for å bekjempe «propaganda» og «fake news», framgår det av ikke offentliggjorte dokumenter the Washington Free Beacon (WFB) har fått tilgang til.

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with a Facebook logo as he poses with a Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

Illustrasjonsbilde. Foto: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Samarbeidet foregår i det stille, skriver WFB:

“We’ve been engaging with Facebook leadership behind the scenes to share our expertise and offer input on developing meaningful solutions,” the group said in a briefing book obtained by the Washington Free Beacon at the conference.

Media Matters opplyste under et møte med donorer i Florida at man har ført diskusjoner med Facebooks ledelse om deres politikk hva angår «upresise» og «ubalanserte» nyheter på Facebook. Mange liberale gir slike nyheter skylden for politiske tap i fjor, både i presidentvalget og valg til senatet og kongressen.

“We’ve been engaging with Facebook leadership behind the scenes to share our expertise and offer input on developing meaningful solutions,” the group said in a briefing book obtained by the Washington Free Beacon at the conference.

“Media Matters will serve as their partner,” the group said of its work with Facebook and other social media companies.

Konservative har hevdet at Facebook med overlegg marginaliserer høyre-orienterte stemmer – en påstand som tilsynelatende bekreftes av selskapets hopehav med Media Matters som har vært sterkt kritisk til konservative tanker og ideer.

Media Matters, a self-styled media watchdog, is retooling its mission to place greater emphasis on “fake news,” a loosely defined category of misinformation that has been invoked to attack everything from Russian propaganda efforts to political blogs deemed factually dubious.

In his speech to last weekend’s conference, Media Matters founder David Brock blamed “fake news,” among other maladies, for the November loss of his preferred presidential candidate, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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“After Facebook responded to our campaign by acknowledging the problem of fake news and agreeing to do something about it, we began a dialogue,” the briefing book says. “It became clear from these conversations that Facebook needed our help in fully understanding the problem and identifying concrete solutions.”

Media Matters’ goal is to get Facebook to “adjust its model to stem the flow of damaging fake news on its platform’s pages.”

En talsperson for Facebook avslo å kommentere det påståtte samarbeidet med Media Matters, som også skal ha gjort framstøt mot Google:

Media Matters has also been trying to enlist Google in its fake news fight, though it is not clear whether it has engaged in the same level of behind-the-scenes collaboration with the search engine giant that it has with Facebook.

“After Google revised their terms of service in order to prohibit so-called fake news sites from using their advertising network, it was Media Matters that had the information necessary to identify 40 of the worst fake news sites to which this policy applied,” the briefing book states.

If Media Matters is successful, it adds, “Google will cut off these pages’ accompanying sites’ access to revenue by pulling their access to Google’s ad platform.”

Google ville ikke svare på spørsmål om sin kontakt med gruppen. Men både Facebook og Google har nylig gjort tiltak som kan synes å være i tråd med Media Matters’ erklærte mål.

Facebook announced on Wednesday that it would change the algorithm behind its popular “trending topics” section, which will now base popularity on the number of Facebook-designated publishers discussing a story, rather than the number of users discussing it.

Google also said on Wednesday that it has banned 200 publishers from its advertising network as part of its efforts to combat fake news sites. The company refused to say which sites had been targeted.

Media Matters ble grunnlagt i 2004 av den politiske aktivisten David Brock. Målet med virksomheten er å overvåke og motarbeide konservative ytringer i media. I 2013 omsatte de for mer enn 12 millioner dollar.

 

The Washington Free Beacon: Media Matters Says It Is Secretly Working with Facebook to Fight ‘Fake News’