Happy 4th of July to our American friends who may be visiting. I hope you enjoy your time here. U.S. president Donald Trump coined a new phrase that has become quite popular, “fake news”. Of course he uses the term whenever he hears, sees or reads anything in the media that isn’t flattering to him. He doesn’t tolerate criticism. Social media is frankly rife with fake news all too often. Facebook has long been the subject of complaints about it and has been accused of allowing it to spread. I see where Facebook Canada is launching a third-party fact-checking program to root out fake news as well as provide users with more context in the articles they read on the platform. Any content the fact-checkers deem to be false or even a mixture of accurate and inaccurate will appear lower in news feeds and be accompanied by related true articles from the fact-checkers. Pages that continue to share fake news will, after repeated offences, lose their ability to advertise and make money. Publishers of articles will have a chance to dispute any ratings they believe to be inaccurate and be able to issue corrections. I think that would be a cool job, being paid to be a fact-checker. You get to delve into the background of stories circulating on social media to see if they hold water. It’s good to see Facebook doing this. Maybe we won’t see quite as much fake stuff floating around as we have been seeing.
That’s Coffeetalk. I’m Vic Dubois.