Jon Snow: Facebook a hazard to democracy

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Facebook should do some-more to tackle a widespread of “cancerous” feign news, and assistance account strange journalism, newsreader Jon Snow has said.

The journalist, who has presented Channel 4 News given 1989, gave a MacTaggart Lecture during a annual Edinburgh TV festival.

He pronounced Facebook’s inaction was a “threat to democracy”.

Facebook’s owner Mark Zuckerberg says a association is “experimenting” with ways to support a news industry.

‘Moral duty’

In a 50-minute speech, Mr Snow pronounced Facebook had helped Channel 4 News find a wider assembly for a reports, though left publishers during a forgiveness of a amicable network.

“Facebook’s beliefs are occasionally explained in fact and can change overnight during Mr Zuckerberg’s whim,” pronounced Mr Snow.

He also criticised a company’s repute for permitting fake stories to widespread unchallenged.

“Facebook enabled a story, ‘Pope endorses Trump for President’,” he said.

“That intent some-more than a million people during a US elections. That same algorithm that prioritised many extraordinary reports of ours, also prioritised fakery on a large scale.

“Facebook has a dignified avocation to prioritise sincerity over virality. It is elemental to a democracy.”

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Jon Snow gave a MacTaggart harangue in Edinburgh

Mr Snow also pronounced Facebook had paid news publishers a “nominal rate” for their stories, that was not adequate to support truthful, inquisitive journalism.

“Facebook feasts on a products and pays all though zero for them. This can't last,” he told a audience.

Channel 4 has posted a transcript of a full lecture.


On Wednesday evening, Mr Zuckerberg pronounced Facebook was exploring new ways to support journalists.

In a post on his Facebook profile, he said: “As some-more people get some-more of their news from places like Facebook, we have a shortcoming to emanate an sensitive village and assistance build common understanding.”

He pronounced a amicable network was contrast a approach to make it easier for people to allow to publishers they liked, and Facebook would not take a cut of a subscription money.

He also described changes to assistance people check a flawlessness of articles.

“Eventually, a idea is to put a publisher’s trademark subsequent to each news essay on Facebook so everybody can know some-more about what they’re reading,” he wrote.

“Giving people a voice is not adequate though carrying organisations dedicated to uncovering new information and analysing it. We’re going to keep experimenting with opposite ways to support a news attention and make certain reporters and publishers everywhere can keep doing their critical work.”

The post was not a approach response to Mr Snow’s speech.

“I’m a fan of Facebook,” Mr Snow pronounced in his lecture.

“It’s great, it’s superb – though I’m not a fan of personification quick and lax with a products that we in this room beget during good expense.

“It can't be over a end of tellurian bargain to come adult with a approach of ensuring that these mega-entities have to compensate to play.”