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Reporters Group Slams Social Media as Threat to Accurate News

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is seeking donations to its campaign to hold tech companies to the same ethical standards as news publishers, suggesting without it the click-driven ad model is a threat to reliable and accurate news.

Currently, social media companies are not legally liable for their content, as are publishers, and generally argue they are not published, but rather platforms allowing others to publish speech.

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In an e-mail solicitation, RSF said:

"[T]he advertising-driven model used by most social media platforms has created an environment where high-quality news is being drowned out by algorithms that promote divisive, click-driven content intended to increase user engagement with advertisements," RSF said. "This advertising bias has filled news feeds with inaccurate information about everything from vaccines to the Holocaust at the expense of reliable news and information.

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"As major distributors of news and information online, these companies have an obligation to create an environment that promotes the spread of reliable and pluralistic news," RSF said.