Facebook is still reeling from the effects that it’s social media platform has had in shaping the political discourse in society.
In the 1990s the internet was seen as a revolutionary tool that would solve all the world’s problems overnight. It was the answer that we were all looking for. Now just twenty years later, the majority of the world uses the internet to share cat videos, stupid memes, or take selfies. People have lost the ability to read past the headline. So much so that schools have to teach kids how to determine fake news from real news.
That’s why it’s odd that Facebook is making the following plea to it’s two billion strong users:
We decided that having the community determine which sources are broadly trusted would be most objective.
This works in theory and hopefully Facebook will be able to determine if their community driven results are not being driven by trolls. Online polls are not to be trusted. It’s one of the most well known rules of the internet, or at least it used to be.
But Facebook’s news feedback experiment places that trust in two billion people. The hope there is that with such a large user base Facebook will be able to determine what media outlets will be the most trusted around the world. Not just in America.
What the results will be is anybody’s guess. A polling sample of this size has never been conducted in the history of polls. Yet, Facebook has prestigious relationships with major mainstream media companies, and they aren’t about to start promoting Weird News Daily over CNN just because a million people told them to.
Of course, all of this may just be helping a certain future President buy the election, easily.