In an explosive new report from BuzzFeed, a dossier, compiled by a purported former British intelligence official, alleged that Russia had compromising information about President-elect Donald Trump.
Admittedly, BuzzFeed states that the dossier contains multiple errors and cannot be independently verified. However, Ben Smith, editor-in-chief at the publication known for its listicles, gave the article the green light for publishing.
On Wednesday’s highly anticipated press conference, Trump (and newly appointed White House press secretary Sean Spicer) blasted BuzzFeed for reporting such baseless accusations devoid of truth, calling the publication a “failing pile of garbage.”
“It’s all fake news,” Trump said during the press conference. “It’s phony stuff. It did not happen. And it was gotten by opponents of ours, as you know because you reported it and so did many of the other people. It was a group of opponents they got together — sick people — and they put that crap together.”
While many debated the credibility of the report and the right for BuzzFeed to publish it, Facebook quietly announced a new initiative to combat fake news known as the “Facebook Journalism Project.”
This attempt to “curb news hoaxes” includes “ways for people to report them more easily and new efforts to disrupt the financial incentives for spammers.” Their mission continues:
In addition, we launched a program to work with third-party fact checking organizations that are signatories of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles to identify hoaxes on Facebook. This problem is much bigger than any one platform, and it’s important for all of us to work together to minimize its reach.
Facebook’s announcement comes as an interesting time as a “fake news” story that was published by BuzzFeed got over 6,300 Likes, 2,800 shares, and 1,100 comments on the social media site. Additionally, every major news media outlet reported on it and caused a major stir leading up to Trump’s press conference.
However, despite the controversy surrounding their reporting, BuzzFeed continues to operate across all social media platforms with absolutely zero repercussions.
If Facebook really wants to gain legitimacy and rid itself of it’s anti-conservative bias, they should delete BuzzFeed’s post. Lastly, they should appoint as many conservatives to work on this journalism project, so that the social media site can be a tool used by everyone, not just the Left.