Facebook has come under fire from the left in recent days for what critics claim was the social media giant's failure to curb fake news during the 2016 presidential race.
Since the race ended, Facebook, Google, and Twitter have all announced plans to curb such content on their platforms, with Google saying they will pull advertisements from "fake news" sites.
So just what constitutes "fake news." A new list compiled by Melissa Zimdars, an assistant professor of communication at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, is giving us insight into just what kind of websites the left plans on targeting for censorship.
Zimdars has put together a list of what she calls "False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical 'News' Sources", which includes a number of fairly mainstream sources including Breitbart, Red State, Twitchy, and Project Veritas.
According to Zimdars, the websites that made her list fall into 4 categories:
CATEGORY 1: Below is a list of fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media. Some of these websites may rely on “outrage” by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits. These websites are categorized with the number 1 next to them.
CATEGORY 2: Some websites on this list may circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information, and they are marked with a 2.
CATEGORY 3: Other websites on this list sometimes use clickbait-y headlines and social media descriptions, and they are marked with a 3.
CATEGORY 4: Other sources on this list are purposefully fake with the intent of satire/comedy, which can offer important critical commentary on politics and society, but have the potential to be shared as actual/literal news. I’m including them here, for now, because 1.) they have the potential to perpetuate misinformation based on different audience (mis)interpretations and 2.) to make sure anyone who reads a story by The Onion, for example, understands its purpose. If you think this is unnecessary, please see Literally Unbelievable.
While some of the websites Zimdars has chosen are clearly satire and clickbait sites, others are simply right leaning sources that fall well within the mainstream of public opinion.
Could this be the type of standard social media giants plan on using in the future? Let's hope not.
Here's the full list: