Katherine Maher, executive director at the Wikimedia Foundation discusses how Wikipedia went from a site loaded with errors and false information to the world’s trusted open encyclopedia.
Through the process of constant self improvement and a dedication to ensuring accurate information, Wikipedia shows that sorting fact from fiction is a much easier job than has been made out from public figures such as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Maher suggsts that the way news is consumed and how information is spread is more the problem than fake news itself. It is the profiteering, commercial model of clickbait and stretching of truth as companies and individuals fight for our screen time that must be seen as the focal point of fake news.
She states the product design is flawed and the major providers need to take a stand on the way information is presented to the consumer and allowing quick resolution to removing what is fake, just as Wikipedia has done:
“When I’m looking at a Facebook feed I don’t know why information is being presented to me. Is it because it’s timely? Is it because it’s relevant? Is it because it’s trending, popular, important?
All of that is stripped out of context so it’s hard for me to assess: is it good information that I should make decisions on? Is it bad information that I should ignore? And then you think about the fact that all of the other sort of heuristics that people use to interpret information, where does it come from? Who wrote it? When was it published? All of that is obscured in the product design as well.”
So does Fake News really have the problem or is this an obfuscation of what is really causing the spread of misinformation?