„Social media has weird testimonial norms.“
Regina Rini in the NYT about Reputation Systems (already implemented at FB for internal purposes) to fight Fake News. I'm with her on that, it's a simple, necessary development to hold people accountable for their publishing habbits.
Here’s a system that might help, and it is based on something that Facebook already does to prevent the spread of fake news. Currently, Facebook asks independent fact-checking organizations from across the political spectrum to identify false and misleading information. Whenever users try to post something that has been identified as fake news, they are confronted by a pop-up that explains the problems with the news and asks them to confirm if they’d like to continue. None of these users are prevented from posting stories whose facts are in dispute, but they are required to know that what they are sharing may be false or misleading.
Facebook has been openly using this system since December 2016. Less openly, they have also been keeping tabs on how often its users attempt to flag stories as fake news, and, using this feature, they have been calculating the epistemic reliability of their users. The Washington Post reported in August that Facebook secretly calculates scores that represent how often users’ flags align with the analysis of independent fact-checkers. Facebook only uses this data internally, to identify abuse of the flagging system, and does not release it to users. I can’t find out my own reputation score, or the scores of any of my friends. […]
Instead of using this data to calculate a secret score, Facebook should display a simple reliability marker on every post and comment. Imagine a little colored dot next to the user’s name, similar to the blue verification badges Facebook and Twitter give to trusted accounts: a green dot could indicate that the user hasn’t chosen to share much disputed news, a yellow dot could indicate that they do it sometimes, and a red dot could indicate that they do it often. These reliability markers would allow anyone to see at a glance how reliable their friends are.