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Will Facebook's Workplace Suffer Fake News Problems?
Posted November 17, 2016
Will Facebook's Workplace Suffer Fake News Problems?
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By Kurt Wagner. Updated November 17, 2016 9:22AM

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Facebook's enterprise Relevant Products/Services tool, Workplace, won't have a fake news problem. At least not one that Facebook has to worry about.

Facebook launched Workplace last month, and the product works exactly like its regular social network, but connects users to their co-workers instead of their friends and relatives. That means Workplace also has its own News Feed, a News Feed powered by the same algorithms and technology used in the main Facebook app.

There's one key difference though: News Feed inside of Workplace will be monitored and patrolled by the companies themselves. Not Facebook. Which means the "fake news" controversy Facebook is currently dealing with around the election won't be Facebook's problem if it crops up in your inter-office discussions.

"Every company that uses Workplace controls their own data. They establish their own policies, their own guidelines, their own rules of engagement," explained Monica Adractas, director of Facebook Workplace in the Americas, onstage at the Code Enterprise conference on Tuesday. "So I don't think the last week has had any impact on Workplace."

Just like regular News Feed, users can flag posts as inappropriate inside of Workplace, but those posts are reviewed by a company administrator.

"It would be impossible for us given the complexity and cultural differences across countries ... even if we wanted to it would be literally impossible for us to set those standards. It is much much better to let each individual company decide for themselves," Adractas added.

Since the election, Facebook has come under fire for promoting fake news that many say worked to sway the election in favor of President-elect Donald Trump. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has denied that claim, saying that it was "extremely unlikely" fake news impacted the election.

A BuzzFeed report on Monday found that some Facebook employees are taking it upon themselves to look into the possible influence. Adractas wouldn't get into details about how things were unfolding internally at the social giant.

"I don't think it's my area ... to comment," Adractas said, instead pointing people to Zuckerberg's recent post on the issue.

Of course, it seems unlikely that Workplace and its company-only Feed will foster the same environment around misleading or fake news that core Facebook does. But with thousands of customers -- some like the Singapore government with hundreds of thousands of employees - monitoring the Workplace News Feed won't necessarily be a simple task.

© 2017 Re/Code syndicated under contract with NewsEdge/Acquire Media. All rights reserved.

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