More proof that Facebook doesn’t “get” news, let alone information verification. Really, guys. Pander to your users some other way that won’t annihilate the information stream.

Facebook doesn’t get news, information, journalism, or facts.


They are going to deem a news site’s “trustworthiness” by surveying their users.

Do these users have first-hand knowledge of the publications? How to gather, verify, and analyze data? Are they trained? Have expertise? Have direct knowledge of the publication, the stories, or the methods?


So how does this method do anything?

It doesn’t. It is relying on amateurs doing work for free.

Not very professional at all.

And how is this different than the status quo, in essence? People post articles they think are trustworthy on their newsfeeds, and you see them in the Trending sidebar.

Remember all that to-do about “fake news”? Who put those articles up there, commented, and shared them?

Facebook users!

Facebook is treating news like the old game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire, using the “Phone a Friend” or “Ask the Audience” lifelines to make decisions.

This is a company that is clueless about information, as in, knows zilch. Nothing.

And it glares.

Facebook should just get out entirely. They cannot handle it. They can handle other things, and should stick with their strengths.

News has always been their weakness, and they can’t fake it.

This method is an outrage to anyone who cares about quality information because this makes an already bad situation a farce.

Welcome to 2018, Facebook!

They had to be pushed into it, but they finally have their first black board member.

I mean, do they ever take a look at their own website? Do they notice a racially diverse crowd out there?

This is the reason we have wobbly institutions to begin with: they are not built with the whole in mind.

I will take a different example: jobs are not created naturally for women with families. The default assumption is that childless young men are going to fill those spots. The entire set-up caters to them and is rigged to them. The after-the-fact patching up is much harder and less natural than the base assumptions.

Now that doesn’t mean women can’t and don’t succeed, but it would be a whole lot more profitable for everyone involved if companies assumed their workforce was going to be people with families working for them. There would be a different natural set-up, and a whole lot less grief, with profits.

The same holds true when we are talking about race: we’d have a lot fewer problems if institutions went in with the assumption that racial diversity was the given, not the “oh yeah, the planet isn’t just about white people” realization.

For all the talk that social media is future-forward, it is things like this that remind us that isn’t quite true. They are also stuck in the past, and we need to consider nurturing visionaries who see reality and truth in equal measure.

Memo to The Outline: Facebook does not need you. It just cut off dead weight. How sunny-spinning destroyed an industry.

The Outline has a silly piece of sunny dreck that defies logic and facts.


It is one of those online projects that has lofty goals, but no clue about what is actually happening around it. It makes the same destructive mistakes traditional media makes, but even more so.

Putting a sunny spin on Facebook cutting journalism is not going to make things better. Facebook did the math and realized people care more about the food their online contacts are eating than what is happening in their local city hall.

They care more to see Star Wars trailers or what faded rock star died than the number of child prostitutes are being tortured on their streets.

Facebook is feel-good banalities and soapbox venting. In either case, you do not need journalism to sustain it. Silly quizzes can thrive. Inspirobot, too. Make yourself look like a character on Family Guy or find a painting that looks like you, terrific.

Journalism got in its way and gave it a black eye with the notion of “fake news”.

Or the Hijab Hoax. How embarrassing it was to rant against the mean old man who took scissors to a little kid’s headscarf…and then you find out it was a hoax.

Facebook figured out that news is not the future because the current model is nonfunctioning and publications such as The Outline does not do anything differently.

It is the reason why journalism failed: it spun every bad omen as a positive event until the entire industry expired from rot. Stop seeing rot as a good thing. See it as rot so you can make a plan to overcome the rot.

As someone who spent her entire adult life chronicling journalistic rot, I can say that had journalists been realistic, they could have turned the profession around, but the arrogance was so overwhelming, people like me who outlined the problems in order to offer a solution were dismissed.

So, while the Outline continues to cuddle with yet another bad turn for the profession, the rest of us don’t have to mindlessly follow the same destructive path.

Facebook to Journalism: Don’t hit yourselves on the way out.

Oh, the panic from media outlets that Facebook has figured out they do not need journalism.


Journalism has been Facebook’s kryptonite in many ways, giving the feel-good big brothers headaches.


From the Left’s temper tantrums about how “fake news” cost Hillary Clinton her presidency to journalism’s declining relevance in the world to even all the silly stories that came up on the Trending News section when algorithms took over human editors, Facebook took a hard look and saw the writing on the wall.

That people do not use social media to get informed. They use it brag, gloat, and rant as they tell other people how to think.

It is not an academic hall or a marketplace of ideas. It is a street corner where people where people can plaster telephone poles with propaganda posters before finding some book to thump and preach.

It is a soapbox, and with all soapboxes, facts ruin the experience of the person preaching on it.

Facebook never got journalism because it was never made for it. Journalism never got Facebook because it was never created with the Internet in mind.

And while Facebook can easily go on without journalism, those in journalism now wonder how much damage this move will make.

Sadly, there has already been too much damage done. It is time to finally come to grips with it and create something new.

Machiavelli, Ponzi, and why social media’s hype needs to be scrutinized.

The Prince is a vile read.

But it is a good map of how this frontier is being run.

Do not cry about a temporary hit to Facebook’s finances.

It reminds me of feudal systems where people had to pay tolls and other fees to function in a powerbroker’s turf.

Social media destroyed the fabric of the old gate-keepers, who were absolutely stupid and unteachable. They memorized the little rule that they had power, never thinking that power can be challenged, weakened, and taken away. Billionaires are very disposable.

Don’t ever kid yourself.

Dictators get slaughtered.

But the robber barons of social media made a lot of damage.

Yet we don’t question the basics.

You know, for instance, how do we know the followers we have a real or just bots people buy to inflate their numbers?

How do we know we are getting hits?

We can be hidden or exposed on the whims of a tyrant, and never know it. We have people perpetually outraged about something on Twitter…

Yet how do we know they are real people? Maybe someone has fifty accounts. Maybe they are being paid to spread the hate.

In The Prince, these kinds of tactics were fair game: from destroying rivals (or now, their credibility) to inflating support by paying people to protest or make damage that gets blamed on a rival.

Meaning the actual numbers may just be a virtual Ponzi scheme.

Yet we just accept the narrative about the power of the Internet.

It is still all about the Benjamins: companies that advertise and pay for exposure, get more exposure, meaning what seems to be popular isn’t.

Do I think everything on social media is a lie?

No, but the rigs pop out to me on numerous levels, and yet we give power to these sites in some belief we get some power and control in return.

Alliances and deals can be struck to keep certain voices out, for instance, or promote other voices that seem to be so-called “overnight sensations”.

The landscape isn’t being tested, questioned, or properly surveyed. Even with my own experimental dabbling, I find many problematic areas that need to be scrutinized.

But we don’t have the kinds of information-gatherers who are willing to go up against these virtual barons.

And that’s a big black hole hiding a wealth of facts we need to know right now…

Internet’s descent into tyranny: Fact-check is the new Censorship.

It was inevitable. You allow Internet’s robber baron’s to be super-rich, they become tyrants.

They have become control freaks of the worst sort.

“Fact check” has nothing to do with checking facts or information verification.

Google, Facebook, and Twitter have decided to play Daddy to the world.

It is the oppression of opinion.

Or, censorship.

When you do away with the gate-keeper as social media did, it destroyed journalism.

And they were fine with that.

When destructive ideologies became normalized, such as pro-ana, anti-vacc, and terrorism, they shrugged their shoulders.

But when opinions that ran counter to the robber barons, well then, let’s force everyone to think alike and censor opinion.

Not fact, but opinion.

Good luck with that.

People do not listen to authorities. Did you listen to your parents or teachers when they told you to stay chaste and not drink?

Oh, I bet you did as you mocked your parents for being oblivious squares.

Far from discouraging forbidden fruit ideology, social media just entrenched it.

Well played, children.

Making the same mistakes as traditional media, children?

The Stasi had people spying on their family members.

They struck out, too.

Information verification is needed. The Big Three are not the venues for it.

It is why the Internet is going to see its fortunes dwindle.

Because they do not know history.

They honestly believe Big Data can save them.

It didn’t save communist and fascist countries that had dirt on every citizen.

The dictators still fell. Those systems failed.

People put up with things for a while, only for a while. They indulge their robber barons until the day they don’t. Propaganda works to a point. Censorship works to a point.

And then people just implode.

And then explode and go looking for a new saviour.

The Internet failed to live up to certain promises. All the knowledge was a click away, and that access to the whole world was supposed to make people rich and famous.

And then it failed.

Disillusionment sets in little by little, until people no longer have a use for it, and look elsewhere.

No algorithm can beat human nature. People risk jail, torture, and death sentences to do what they want.

We still need truth and reality. We still need facts.

We just need a better method to get them and disseminate them.

And in that regard, we have a long way to go.

Facebook and journalism do not go hand-in-hand: why social media is not a forum for news.

Facebook is amateur public relations, the way Twitter is amateur press release.


Facebook is the end-of-the-year letter you send to your friends and relatives bragging about your job promotion, your family vacation, your children’s good grades, and the like.

You put your most flattering pictures from parties as you check in at airports and restaurants. You tell people about the movies, books, and television shows you watch.

And all those annoying and meaningless quizzes, cat videos, selfies with pseudo-celebrities, and folksy posters, and as people are getting too lazy to make their own, they crib from Inspirobot.


Facebook is PR for the little people, nothing more. You can promote your little business or little band or little blog or little book…and you can sell off your stove or CD collection to pay the bills as your little businesses literally bring in just a little bit of money with it.

It turned the lyrics to the song Pleasant Valley Sunday into the mundane life for a lot of people.

But Facebook isn’t about actual truth or reality.

It is about upholding a fantasy version of it. You can keep out the gory details of your dysfunctional life, and show the world an image of success, glamor, good times, and even badassery.

It is one-stop self-promotion the way Walmart is one-stop shopping.

And both have a lot in common, including a colour-scheme.

But Facebook is trying to look serious, and is trying to get into journalism.

And the rubes even call it a “project.”

They got Campbell Brown, a former mainstream reporter of a bygone era to head it, making it a make-work program for reporters, which is what j-schools do, and it explains why the profession imploded.

If Facebook had any intention of doing journalism, they should not defer to traditionalists.

They should not go that route because there is a reason why that route took an entire profession to its grave.

That’s like serving Jonestown Kool-Aid to people because Jim Jones served it.

Are you people that clueless?

Well, yes, they are. Facebook having a journalism project is like Hill and Knowlton starting their own all-news channel. They are not built for that purpose.

They are built for people to stick to their little tribes and not be forced to deal with anything that goes against their own worldview.

It is an advertorial scroll. People cherry-pick stories that support their own misinformed beliefs and share it with people, which is way of the Partisan Press Era.

It works great for advertising movie trailers and pseudo-celebrity gossip.

But it was never built with information verification in mind.

The data Facebook receives can never be accurate for this reason. Big Data, is, in fact, big fantasy. People put their best foot forward, and when they don’t, you can be certain there will be a GoFundMe link for people to shake down their friends for funds because their lives have hit a huge roadblock.

Or they want to fund a vanity project.

A new and proper form of journalism needs to stay away from social media entirely. They are incompatible. Facebook will take the corpse of journalism and spread the disease to its own profitable vehicle, making their fortunes the same as traditional news media.

And it’s already started.