Clinton campaign chief digital strategist Teddy Goff thinks that fake news shared on Facebook helped Donald Trump upset Hillary Clinton in the presidential election and plans to “take on” the problem.
“Everyone has the right to say what they want, have access to sites that they want, share what they want,” Goff told Politico. “But a publisher with a record of making stuff up is not likely to rank that highly on Google, and the equivalent ought to be the case on Facebook.”
On Sunday night, HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver slammed Facebook as a “cesspool of nonsense” and pointed to a fake story about the Pope endorsing Trump that was shared almost a million times.
“Fake facts circulate on social media to a frightening extent,” Oliver said. “There is now a whole cottage industry specializing in hyper-partisan, sometimes wildly distorted click bait.”
Facebook has come under intense scrutiny for what critics call its role in spreading misinformation and hoaxes about the presidential election, much of which was aimed at Clinton. Goff and other Democrats didn’t think the social media company would make drastic changes before the election, so they waited until afterwards to speak out.
“Two, three weeks ago, many of us are beginning to talk about what a big problem this is, both from the campaign and from the administration, and just sort of broader Obama orbit, and are talking about, this is one of the things we would like to take on post-election,” Goff told Politico. “This is something we were very aware of, saw zero percent chance Facebook was going to be compliant or work with us during the election, but wanted to take on post-election.”
Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg recently defended his company from accusations during the presidential election, but acknowledged they must work harder to “flag hoaxes and fake news” saying, “There is more we can do.”
In a post on his Facebook page on Saturday, Zuckerberg wrote: “We don’t want any hoaxes on Facebook. Our goal is to show people the content they will find most meaningful, and people want accurate news. We have already launched work enabling our community to flag hoaxes and fake news, and there is more we can do here.”