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    Facebook to roll out new tools to tackle fake news

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, December 16th, 2016

    A man poses with a magnifier in front of a Facebook logo on display in this illustration taken in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration


    Facebook Inc. said on Thursday it will introduce tools to prevent fake news stories from spreading on its platform, an about-face in response to rising criticism that it did not do enough to combat the problem during the U.S. presidential campaign.

    The social network company stressed that the new features are part of an ongoing process to refine and test how it deals with fake news. It has faced complaints this year involving how it monitors and polices content produced by its 1.8 billion users.

    Facebook said users will find it easier to flag fake articles on their News Feed as a hoax, and it will work with organizations such as fact-checking website Snopes, ABC News and the Associated Press to check the authenticity of stories.

    If such organizations identify a story as fake, Facebook said, it will get flagged as “disputed” and be linked to the corresponding article explaining why.

    The company said disputed stories may appear lower in its news feed, adding that once a story is flagged, it cannot be promoted.

    A few weeks ago, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said it was a “crazy idea” that fake or misleading news on Facebook helped swing the election in favor of Republican Donald Trump. But criticism persisted amid reports that people in the United States and other countries have fabricated sensational hoaxes meant to appeal to conservatives.

    Critics said fake news often was more widely read than news reported by major media organizations.

    Ahead of the Nov. 8 election, Facebook users saw fake news reports saying Pope Francis endorsed Trump and that a federal agent who had been investigating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was found dead.

    The effort by Facebook is intended to focus on the “worst of the worst” of clear hoaxes created by “spammers for their own gain,” Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s vice president in charge of its News Feed, said in a blog post.

    Some far-right conservative writers quickly pounced on the announcement, decrying it as a covert attempt to muzzle their legitimate content.

    “Translation: A group of incredibly biased left-wing fake news outlets will bury dissenting opinions,” Paul Joseph Watson, editor-at-large of the far-right website Infowars, which routinely peddles unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, said on Twitter.

    Facebook has struggled throughout the year to mollify conservatives who fear the company may be censoring them. The company fired contractors who managed the site’s trending news sidebar after a report by Gizmodo in May quoted an anonymous employee claiming the site routinely suppressed conservative news.

    On Thursday, Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president for U.S. public policy, met with President-elect Trump at his Manhattan tower. — Reuters

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    Law on fake news unlikely to be enacted – Senator Sotto

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, October 6th, 2017

    MANILA, Philippines — Senate Majority Leader Senator Tito Sotto argued that in passing a proposal to enact a law on fake news, the rights of the journalist must be put into consideration.

    “Siguro meron tayong pwedeng mga batas na matalakay iyan pero content-driven. Hindi puwede outright fake news. Kasi ang tatamaan diyan ang mainstream media,” said Sotto.

    He, in particular, mentioned the freedom of speech and expression that the media and the people are enjoying.

    Sotto made this comment after Liberal Party Senator Bam Aquino expressed his determination to push for the enactment of a law penalizing persons or groups who create and spread the so-called fake news, in line with the Senate’s probe on the matter.

    “Palagay ko ang panawagang ang fake news i-penalize, at siguro mas doblehin pa ang penalty kung public official ka na nagbibigay ng fake news,” said Sen. Aquino.

    Senator Sotto also emphasized that not all persons have the capability to track down entity or individuals behind the spread of a fake news on a specific social media platform.

    “Ang problema kasi doon sa pagpa-file ng libel kung meron kang pamamaraan or accessible sa iyo ang mga kagamitan or people, dapat ma-identify mo ang tao,” said the Senate majority leader.

    Sotto added that there are some alternatives that can be considered such as registration of bloggers or persons on a social media platform.

    Under the Anti-Fake News bill authored by Senator Joel Villanueva, violators will be fined of up to P5 million and imprisonment of up to 5 years.

    Those who aid in the creation or spread the identified fake news will pay a fine of up to 3 million pesos and imprisonment of up to 3 years.

    Also, a media organization or anyone in the media platform who refuses to remove the false news will face a fine from 10 to 20 million pesos and 20 years imprisonment. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue




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    Senate inquiry tackles promotion of information literacy and definition of fake news

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

    IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_100417_ Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media

    MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media on Wednesday began its inquiry on the proliferation of fake news on social media sites.

    This comes after the blog post of a group called “Silent No More” expressed condemnation against seven senators who did not sign the Senate Resolution Number 516, which urges the government to stop the violence and killings, especially of minors.

    Several social media bloggers also attended the hearing including the controversial Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, who claimed to have been victimized as well by misinformation.

    However, some senators reprimanded Uson for posting what they described as questionable information on her personal Facebook page that has millions of followers.

    “My question is, and its a very simple question, at the time Asec. Mocha blogged about the minority, about the opposition, about all of us, just answer yes or no, did she ask for our side?” Sen. Bam Aquino said.

    Uson, on the other hand, argued she is not a journalist, but a blogger.

    “First of all, sir, it is the right of a blogger to decide whether or not to seek the side of the other party. Unlike with mainstream media, they have the obligation before reporting their news,” PCOO Asec. Mocha Uson said.

    Several senators reminded bloggers working with the government to be responsible in expressing their opinions on social media especially since they have many followers.

    The Senate committee also sought to hear the side of the personality behind the blog Silent No More Philippines, identified as Cocoy Dayao, who did not appear at the hearing.

    Dayao was allegedly part of the communications office of the previous administration.

    Some professional journalists are seeking to hold liable even the officials of the government involved in proliferating misinformation and lies.

    “The problem I see is when government officials themselves spread the lies. A number of politicians and public officials tend to play fast and loose with the facts, [and] in the process, misleading the public,” said Ellen Tordesillas of Vera Files.

    For former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, the netizens are not the ones at fault for the spread of fake news, but the dishonest government officials.

    “What I consider a threat to our democratic values and danger to our marketplace of ideas is the prevalence of false information provided by public officials whether deliberately or out of sheer incompetence.  False information provided by public officials imposes special problems,” said Hilbay.

    Senator Antonio Trillanes and Uson also faced off during the said hearing. The two previously had a heated exchange over the alleged offshore accounts of Trillanes.

    “You are handsome in person Senator . That’s not fake news, sir,” Uson said to Trillanes.

    To which Trillanes replied, “Actually, I was not planning to attend, but miss apparently Ms. Mocha misses me…just a few more flattery and I might withdraw the case I filed against you,” Trillanes replied. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue


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    Puerto Ricans wash clothes in rivers as utilities remain offline

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

    Large parts of the U.S. territory are still without running water or electricity and are facing food shortages almost three weeks after Hurricane Maria made landfall there on September 20.

    Still struggling without water or electricity, some of the families washing their clothes in the Anon River in ponce on the south side of the island.

    They just say they are making the journey a family outing.

    “So we’re taking advantage of the time to wash clothes because we have to do it and so we’re spending time with the kids and with the family. We brought stuff for a barbecue and we’re enjoying the day,” said Alexis Vega.

    “We’re looking at it from a positive point of view and spending a lot of time with family. You have to do it. We have to. It’s going back to olden days,” said Heidi Vazquez.

    President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday in the US amid questions over whether his administration has acted with enough urgency in helping distribute emergency supplies throughout the island. — Reuters

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