Google and Facebook Can’t Just Make Fake News Disappear

Excerpt from this article:

Let’s start with a common “fix” that I’ve heard in the solutionist mindset: Force Facebook and Google to “solve” the problem by identifying “fake news” and preventing it from spreading. Though I appreciate the frustration over technology companies’ ability to mirror and magnify long-standing social dynamics, regulating or pressuring them to find a silver bullet solution isn’t going to work. From my vantage point, this approach immediately makes visible three differently scaled problems:

1) No one can even agree on a definition of “fake news,” even though a ridiculous number of words are being spent trying to define it.

2) Folks don’t seem to understand the evolving nature of the problem, the way that manipulation evolves, or how the approaches they propose can be misused by those with whom they fundamentally disagree.

3) No amount of “fixing” Facebook or Google will address the underlying factors shaping the culture and information wars in which America is currently enmeshed.