People verbalize that they want free speech, but they only want free speech if it is similar to their way of thinking. While eliminating fake news is crucial to finding the truth, it is imperative that we address this issue, rather than just trying to engage in civic discourse. I define civic discourse as citizens having intelligent and open-minded discussions. The optimal way to change this behavior is to seek out the most thoughtful and intelligent people that we know who disagree with us, and mutually share our basic understandings of the situation. As Americans, we pride ourselves on the first amendment, yet we are trying to discredit opinions that differ from ours.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 19, 2018
There is a difference between fake news, and a person who you disagree with. However, Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and the other Facebook executives are working to ensure that fake news will be mitigated.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says the platform is "now blocking millions of attempts to register false accounts each and every day" and is "making progress on fake news."
— ABC News (@ABC) September 6, 2018
One way to prevent fake news, is by preventing burner accounts from signing up. However, “EXCLUSIVE: FACEBOOK OPENS UP ABOUT FALSE NEWS” by Nicholas Thompson on WIRED, elaborates on other ways to combat fake news.
Firstly, they are going to start requesting proposals from “academics eager to study false news on the platform” (Thompson). Secondly, there will be a public education campaign to teach users how to decipher fake news. Thirdly, Facebook is releasing a “nearly 12-minute video called “Facing Facts,” a title that suggests both the topic and the repentant tone” (Thompson).
These suggestions are all different approaches to combating fake news. As citizens, we can better facilitate civic discourse by embracing contentious subjects with an open mind. If we actually listen to the opposing view, rather than just wait for them to stop talking so that we can “prove them wrong,” then we can engage in civic discourse once again.