Fox News’ “HuffPost” has been one of the most influential sites on the Internet for nearly 20 years, but a growing number of people have begun to question the site’s legitimacy.
As a result, the company is trying to get out from under the burden of being a hub for fake news.
On Monday, HuffPo announced that it will now offer a “fake news filter” to all users that will show fake news articles, videos, and social media posts instead of what they appear to be.
That will give the site a much-needed break from the constant barrage of misinformation and disinformation that has plagued the site for years.
HuffPo CEO Marc Andreesen said in a statement that the move was necessary because fake news had become so pervasive in the news ecosystem, that it was affecting the credibility of news and journalism.
In the past, “we have seen the impact of fake content on the reputation of news organizations.
For example, when false claims of widespread voter fraud were spread on social media by an individual or a small group, it caused a massive public relations crisis for the U.S. government and for the news media,” he said.
“Our solution is to give the community a way to determine whether or not they are seeing real content or whether it’s a fake or a fake-news account.”
HuffPo said it will also make it easier to flag content that it deems “fake” by putting the user in the “fakes” category.
That way, people will no longer be confused about whether they’re seeing content they know is fake.
Andreesin said HuffPo is committed to a “zero tolerance” policy for fake content.
“As an organization that’s been built on truth and accuracy, we will never tolerate false or misleading content,” he added.
“We have seen how our users have reacted to content that was deemed fake or misleading, and that has led to a change in our business model.”
But many people have expressed concerns that the new filter will not address the problem.
“Hufflepuff is a company that’s built on a foundation of truth and integrity, yet it’s creating a fake filter to target fake content,” tweeted Andrew Kocher, a blogger at The Daily Dot who has been critical of the site.
“In an age of fake media, it’s not a new concept.”
Other people have voiced similar concerns about the move.
“They should do a fake news filter.
They should just delete their entire fake news platform,” tweeted Michael J. D’Antonio, a former editor of Vice News.
“It’s just a total scam to make money,” tweeted the Twitter account @The_Proud_Soleil.
“This is an attempt to hide the truth about HuffPo, not the truth of it,” wrote the Twitter user @_Baldman.
The news outlet also announced it would make the change without warning to its “Newsroom,” the “content” section that is used to run posts by staff and community members.
But the changes will not apply to other sections of HuffPo’s site, such as the “Popular Topics” and “Popularity” sections, because they are not “news” sites, and they are meant to serve as a community forum for HuffPo to discuss and “connect” with other users.
As of Tuesday morning, HuffPost said it had removed about 20 million fake news items from its website, which has nearly 4.5 million articles and video posts.
The site is now offering to remove content it deems fake, but that may be a matter of time.
“People have been reporting that they’ve seen some articles that are fake or that they can’t find,” Andreesens said.
Andresen said that the changes were a necessary one to address the problems that have plagued the company for years, particularly because HuffPo has long been criticized for its inability to curate its own content.
But other people are worried about the new move.
On Twitter, users have criticized the decision.
“For the first time, Huffpo will be forced to remove the content that is considered fake,” tweeted user @Sylvain_S.
“Theres no real value to fake news.”
“HUFFPOST has always been a great site to write for.
But for a change, it seems HuffPo will have to stop using it,” tweeted @mikecraig_sullivan.
“I hope they dont think it is worth their time and money.”