Wednesday, October 04, 2017
The Las Vegas massacre proved again that news distribution requires human editors. Both Google's and Facebook's algorithms picked up and sent out phony stories from suspect sources that news people would have caught. Eventually real news came out but in the interim, there was wild speculation and biased opinions that served as filler for anxious readers desperate to know more about the incident and people who were killed or injured. One should not be surprised that some people took the fake news as real and continue to believe falsehoods. Both Google and Facebook need experienced news persons at the gate of their services to catch lies before they are disseminated. If neither service wants to do that, they should prominently publish on their sites warnings to readers that their information is raw and unvetted. That way they can partially offset unscrupulous manipulators who use news as a means of gaining leverage or to sow chaos.