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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

HTLS speaker Alex Hardiman: Fighting the spread of fake news

Alex Hardiman, Director, News Products, Facebook is a speaker at HTLS 2017.

htls Updated: Nov 28, 2017 14:19 IST

Alex Hardiman, Director, News Products, Facebook is a speaker at HTLS 2017.
Alex Hardiman, Director, News Products, Facebook is a speaker at HTLS 2017. (Illustration: Animesh Debnath)

Alexandra Hardiman has a tough job at hand: foil fake news on Facebook. The social network, which has 2 billion active monthly users worldwide, was, along with other social media platforms, accused of not doing enough to stop misinformation during the 2016 United States presidential election.

Hardiman, 35, is the head of Facebook’s news products division, which is responsible for fighting fake news and helping publishers discover new ways of storytelling and monetising. She joined Facebook in 2016 to lead the pages product team focused on messaging and mobile products for small business. Previously, as vice-president of the news product division at The New York Times, she worked on vision, strategy and product management of the website’s mobile and desktop offerings.

“As a part of the Facebook Journalism Project, my colleagues and I will work collaboratively with news organisations across the spectrum to build new storytelling formats, local news communities, monetisation options, and more. We will also partner with teams in Facebook to continue curbing the spread of false news,” Hardiman wrote in a Facebook post on May 1, 2017. The Project was launched in January.

In December last year, Facebook started working with third-party fact checkers to flag and down-rank misleading and false content in the newsfeed. This October, it tested with publisher info buttons on links to curb fake news.

Hardiman wrote in her post that she “grew up in news.” Her great-grandmother worked in radio and television in the US midwest. Her grandfather was a broadcast journalist who reported on issues such as racial discrimination and social injustice.

First Published: Nov 28, 2017 14:07 IST