Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the task of weeding through Facebook and picking out false news stories is too large a task for one company to handle.
So, he suggested Facebook could call on its users to act as a team of fact checkers. He argues that readers more safely could place their trust in an article backed by a large percentage of the community. But critics say it’s experts, not a large group of biased readers, that determine whether the information is true.
In the social media era, is there safety in numbers? Is it the job of experts to determine what information is true? Is bias eliminated with more data points, or do those extra data points encourage blind trust?
James Surowiecki, journalist and former New Yorker columnist; author of “The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations” (2004, Anchor); he tweets @JamesSurowiecki
Jane Kirtley, professor of media ethics and law at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota