BP # 11: Fake news influences voters to make wrong decision?

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For Facebook founder and chief, Mark Zuckerberg, he is finding out that he may be responsible for some users voting for a president under false pretenses. After finding out that many news articles posted on Facebook were in fact fake, people are bewildered and feel like they have been mislead to vote for the wrong presidential candidate.This is obviously a big problem but Facebook could have done/ could do more to eliminate fake/false news content posted on its site. When the company decided it wanted to reduce spam, it established a policy that limited its spread. If Facebook wanted to, it could  it could minimize the spread of fake news too.

This situation could be applied to Bales’ idea of the professional and client relationship and the models of decision making authority. Facebook has a duty to its users to provide a platform that is credible and reliable. Sure please have the freedom to post wherever they want and people should understand that you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, but if a particularly controversial news article about a presidential candidate goes viral on Facebook, people are most likely going to believe it. Facebook has the ability to remove spam from its site, therefore it most likely has the power to remove fraudulent and misleading news articles as well. Although Facebook can’t be held responsible for the outcome of the election, it is response for misinforming many voters, something that could have been prevented or stopped. Although Facebook is merely a tool that can be use and manipulated by its users, it has an opportunity to act as a fiduciary to its users by filtering content and making sure that posts on Facebook are credible and reliable. By allowing people to post fake news articles, it gives people the perception that Facebook is no longer a credible source to gather news information, whether it actually has good content or not. This tainted view of Facebook could hurt them and they will have to either create a new policy or ensure users that they are doing something about reducing misleading and false content to make Facebook a reliable place to gather news.

 

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