TECHNOLOGY

Facebook makes commitment to Latin American media outlets

The social network is looking to improve the content on its platform and combat fake news

More than 387 million people. That’s the objective that Facebook has for Latin America, and the social network founded by Mark Zuckerberg wants to team up with the media to reach that figure. During the Journalism Project day on Thursday in Mexico City, a number of representatives from the company stated their commitment to improving the news content on the platform via two different actions: fighting against fake news, and helping the press with distribution. The event was attended by mostly Mexican journalists, but there were also representatives from Colombia, Argentina and Peru.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.Eric Risberg / AP

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“The most important thing for Facebook is to create an informed community,” explained Luis Olivares, the head of media partnership in Latin America, at an even attended by around 60 people. Although some of the newer strategies to combat fake news using artificial intelligence are still not available in the region, the company explained that they are already fighting against content that is just seeking to monetize user traffic without providing verified information. “The newsfeed has become the biggest mail box in the world,” explained Olivares. “And like all mailboxes, it is susceptible to spam.”

The newsfeed has become the biggest mail box in the world, and like all mailboxes, it is susceptible to spam Facebook’s Luis Olivares

Noemí Ramírez García, the head of digital development at EL PAÍS, also took part in the event at a conference in which she explained the technological strategy of the newspaper. From the redesign of mobile applications, to a commitment to video, Ramírez explained the constant transformation in which the publication finds itself, seeking to go further than just keeping up to date with the tools that social networks offer, and paying close attention to what people are asking for.

Representatives from the different areas of Facebook and Instagram also attended the Journalism Project Day, to answer questions from journalists. Toward the end of the day a number of work stations were put in place to look for practical solutions to the problems people find when trying to sell their content through the social network. In accordance with figures from the company itself, in Mexico 76 million people are connected to Facebook, followed by Argentina with 30 million, Colombia with 27, Peru with 20 and Chile with 12. As well as being united by the same language, Zuckerberg’s company also wants to unite them under the same network.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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