‘First off, I think the suggestion there is that we haven’t taken action, and that’s not right: We have acted.’
That’s Facebook’s head of global policy management, Monika Bickert, defending on CNN the company’s approach to the posting and sharing on its platform of perniciously manipulated video footage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The action Bickert references: Users being exposed to or in the process of exposing others to the video, as well as those who have shared it in the past, Bickert said, are now being alerted by Facebook
that the content “is false.”
Facebook, she said, works with dozens of fact-checking organizations around the world, and did so in this case as well. “As soon as we get a rating from them that content is false, then we dramatically reduce the distribution of that content, and we let [users] know that it’s false.”
“We think it’s important for people to make their own informed choice about what to believe,” Bickert told host Anderson Cooper on Friday. “Our job is to make sure that we are getting them accurate information.”
“But it’s not accurate information,” interjected Cooper, who went on to argue — with pushback from Bickert, a Harvard Law graduate, who said, “We aren’t in the news business; we are in the social-media business” — that Facebook should take greater responsibility, as news organizations must do, for the content on its platform.
As evidence that the company’s procedures are working, Bickert argued that the conversation on social and other media, after the independent verification of the Pelosi video’s illegitimacy, has been about the video’s having been manipulated rather than about consumers of the content believing in its veracity. “And that’s the conversation that people should be having,” she said.
Watch the “Anderson Cooper 360°” interview here: