News needs a good hearing

By Ravikiran Joshi


[In Review Of]

Facebook and its fake stories is a reminder that we must not depend on it for news – Tech2

via Facebook and its fake stories is a reminder that we must not depend on it for news – Tech2 by

The allegation that Facebook influenced election results in the US, may sound ridiculous to many of us. But one must realise that in the US, Facebook is a primary source of news for many. According to a Pew Research Centre report, around 62 percent of US adults get their news from social media.

Source: Facebook and its fake stories is a reminder that we must not depend on it for news – Tech2

Social news feeds are in question and MSM(main stream media) is a charade in seekers of the truth. Where lies middle line? that all pervading differentiation to comfortably put right from wrongs.

The key measures include having stronger detection to improve classification of misinformation; easy reporting of false news by Facebook users; verification from third-party fact-checking organisations; improving related articles links; adding warning labels to false news; denying ads to illegal news sources and more.

A fake story or post is as good as spam and techniques for spam hunting may help in near term but not fully eliminate the raids. Third party fact checking organizations (like politico in US) or myth buster sites are cropping up but may not last their life term as its a huge thing to fact archive and reproduce on-demand with an occasional traffic. This leaves us to innovate for a continual approach towards news content generation and consumption process. While a Regulator (that since now exists in most countries) can only be of a ethical framework but never welcomed in the executive mode. So why don’t we have an agent at the consumption end to ratify and rate every news piece that intends to reach a wide audience. This agent can then outsource its own data for the public and bring in the lost credibility in News.

Before we jump to conclusions on what form the agent can take, lets take a note on credibility issues faced in crowd sourced knowledge bases  like wikipedia. Contradictions and multiple or counter references for every fact, articles under warning requiring citations are routine now. So just a requirement of citations or cross refs puts the fact or piece in a dilemma of publication. Fact remaining the same a majority rating can be called for and relied on in cases of news. But Opinions (may) differ with the majority and rating OpEds requires quantifiers or qualitative indicators. Lets introduce both – a simple rating for the average reader and a qualitative rating for the inquisitive.  Such a rated review of a fact is the basis with which a complete eco-system can actually make the news hear you.

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