Is deciding what is fake news and what is not a public task for the public authorities? No, that's not true. Only in undemocratic regimes without a free press is it the task of the public authorities to decide what is fake news and what is not. The statement that it should fall to the authorities to do this came from a tweet posted by Guy Verhofstadt in the wake of the hearing of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg by the European Parliament on May 22, 2018.
"This brave new world of Mr #Zuckerberg in which tens of thousands of #Facebook employees decide what is fake news and what is not, scares me. This is a public task for the public authorities."
Guy Verhofstadt is a MEP in the European Parliament and leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).
Let's fact check his statement:
- I'm a European citizen
- I'm not part of the "public authorities"
- I've been making decisions about labeling things "fake news" on a daily basis since 2016
- And I'm proudly doing it again right now by labeling Mr. Verhofstadt's tweet "Fake News"
- I will keep doing it until they pull this keyboard "from my cold, dead hands"
So clearly this is a task that ordinary citizens can and should be doing.
I rate Guy Verhofstadt's claim false.
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