While previously the public’s news consumption was shaped by powerful gatekeepers such as newspaper editors or the bosses of heavily regulated broadcast news channels, on their phones it is shaped more by the hands-off approach of companies such as Facebook. The social network has decided against taking a patrician approach of pushing straightforward reporting into newsfeeds alongside user-generated memes asking Was Enoch Powell Right?, or hyperpartisan posts spreading distorted information about Jeremy Corbyn.
With limited human involvement in choosing the news stories people are seeing, the researchers said the general public were being asked to take responsibility for their own news diet with the hope that they seek out accurate information without any intervention.
Revealing Reality’s analysis of the volunteers’ election news consumption concluded: “If everything that people are seeing is via social media – who is accountable? There is very little human intelligence or decision-making behind it, no attempt to give a balanced view. That seems to leave all responsibility on the reader.”https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/05/uncovered-reality-of-how-smartphones-turned-election-news-into-chaos