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Facebook VP Elliot Schrage, speaking at DLD 18 in Munich. (Photo: Ina Fried / Axios)

Facebook's top policy executive said Sunday that the company's move to let users decide which media is credible is a better option than Facebook itself deciding or turning it over to a panel of experts.

Why it matters: Facebook has been under fire for its role in the propagation of fake news and propaganda.

VP Elliot Schrage said that Facebook itself shouldn't be the one to decide which news to promote and said that, in a polarized world, turning things over to any third party simply “Invites criticism who that body of experts is.”

He promised that Facebook won't let people self-select into its survey of trusted media and that it will be statistically representative.

Responding to criticism, Schrage acknowledged that the company has spent too much in recent years on building new features and not enough in protecting the existing ones from abuse.

Schrage echoed CEO Mark Zuckerberg in saying that the company needs to do more when it comes to both removing hate speech and defending the service from being a tool for foreign interference in elections.

"We have not served that mission so well in either our explanations or our investments," VP Elliot Schrage said on Sunday, speaking at the DLD conference in Munich.

Specifically, Schrage pointed to three areas where the company is taking steps to do better.

  • preventing and quickly removing hate speech
  • preventing foreign interference in domestic affairs, especially elections
  • making sure that people who use the site find it to be "time well spent."

Go deeper

Court rejects Trump campaign's appeal in Pennsylvania case

Photo: Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously rejected the Trump campaign's emergency appeal seeking to file a new lawsuit against Pennsylvania's election results, writing in a blistering ruling that the campaign's "claims have no merit."

Why it matters: It's another devastating blow to President Trump's sinking efforts to overturn the results of the election. Pennsylvania, which President-elect Joe Biden won by more than 80,000 votes, certified its results last week and is expected to award 20 electoral votes to Biden on Dec. 12.

Dave Lawler, author of World
46 mins ago - World

Belarus dictator Lukashenko says he'll leave post after new constitution

Photo: Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty

Longtime Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has said he will step down after a new constitution comes into force, according to Belarusian state media.

Why it matters: Lukashenko has faced three months of protests following a rigged election in August. He has promised to reform the constitution to reduce the near-absolute powers of the president, but has insisted that his strong hand is needed to see that process through.

3 hours ago - World

Iran confirms assassination of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadhe

The Iranian ministry of defense issued a statement on Friday confirming the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadhe, an Iranian scientist and the architect behind the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program.

Why it matters: Fakhrizadhe was the head of the Amad project in the Iranian ministry of defense, which focused on developing a nuclear bomb until 2003.