Facebook is reportedly on the hunt for a candidate with sufficient skills and knowledge in both tech and media to take head its news products division and help fight fake news on the Internet. The 2016 US presidential election and the surrounding political storm brought to light a massive influx of news that either wasn't credible, hid some facts, was decidedly misleading, or even outright fabricated. Facebook, among others, has been fighting that trend in every way they can think of, but things have apparently come to the point where they'll need to think of new ways to approach the problem. Facebook has yet to issue an official comment on the matter.
The new role being proposed is distinctly different from some of the roles it could be mistaken for, such as Facebook's news partnership head, whose job largely consists of talking to media outlets. Another similar role is the VP of news and video. This position, currently occupied by Fidji Simo, is actually who the new recruit would be reporting to. The new job's responsibilities would include figuring out ways to enhance existing news products like Facebook Instant Articles and coming up with new ways to combat the spread of fake news through Facebook.
The scramble to combat fake news isn't a novel idea, but the 2016 presidential election and its surrounding controversies saw many blaming internet companies for allowing fake news to proliferate because they may have affected the election's results. Since then, Facebook has been trying different approaches to stop the dissemination of such stories, even including manual curation of news by dedicated staffers. They've also joined forces with Google to help develop tools to fight the spread of fake news online. Many online services, Facebook included, have been educating users as the first line of defense against factually inaccurate stories, thinking that the heavy flow of fake news may be tough to prevent, but it will be far less effective and troublesome if the users reading it not only know how to spot it but are actively encouraged to report it, helping outfits like Facebook to fight such articles.