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Dan Rather on Facebook spreading fake news: “They lost their humility”

Dan Rather on Facebook spreading fake news: “They lost their humility”
[Photo: Valerie Chang]

When Dan Rather began posting topical essays to his Facebook page years ago, he didn’t think much of it. Younger members on his staff prodded him to do it, but he was a little skeptical of social media. To his surprise, Rather started to build a devoted and sizable following, leading him to create his media company News and Guts, a site that’s dedicated to “cut through all the bullshine and bring you what’s important.” It’s ironic, in a sense, because of the heat Facebook has taken since this past election cycle for its dismal efforts to combat the proliferation of fake news. When asked his thoughts on Facebook’s accountability during the Fast Company Grill in Austin, Rather had this to say:

“I don’t actually know the answer. I’m somewhat puzzled by it. But the best I could come up with as a guess, is Facebook grew so fast, so big, so powerful, so much money that those at the very top of Facebook, while I admire them greatly, I think they lost their humility and sort of bought into a certain arrogance or conceit–and those are tough words. And I can understand how that happened, but they weren’t committed to transparency. They weren’t very humble about what they were doing. And I think, as a matter of fact, they got infected with the sense that they were always the smartest people in the room. And I’m sorry to say that, but I will give them credit–it seems to me now that they are trying to reboot, reassess, and make changes. So I, for one, am prepared to say, ‘Okay, my eyes and ears are open–show me what you got.'”

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