Geek Beat: Fake News and Filter Bubbles

With many still reeling from the results of the U.S. presidential election, our friends at Hawaii News Now called an audible, setting aside the gadgets to tackle the intersection of tech and politics. After a quick mannequin challenge.

Facebook’s role in shaping the national dialogue and influencing political contests was a big topic before November 8, but the discussion has reached a fever pitch since Election Day. A social network that’s optimized for “engagement” over credibility is bound to run into trouble given the naturally engaging qualities of “fake news.” No less than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stepped up to address the issue.

Twitter, of course, has problems of its own, with well-known issues with harassment and hate speech. The company has unrolled another set of tools to help users find peace in the chaos of the “free speech wing of the free speech party” (as Twitter is often described). You can now “mute” users, as well as use updated procedures to report harassment.

Finally, with Trump in the White House, the tech industry is wondering what his administration will mean for business. One of the earliest signals of a shift in national policy was a drop in the share price of Tesla, a company that is betting big on renewable energy. In a country where alternative energy might be pushed aside for more conventional sources like oil and coal, Tesla’s bet seems less like a sure thing.

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