Stephen Lam | Reuters
Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg waves as he arrives on stage during the annual Facebook F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, U.S., April 18, 2017.
Facebook made an important hire in its effort to curb false news.
The company has promoted Alex Hardiman, formerly of the New York Times, to its new head of news products role. The job means Hardiman will work with publishers to create news features, and also try to stop the proliferation of false news on the service.
Recode reported last month that the company was looking to hire for the role but was running into trouble finding someone with both editorial and technical experience.
Hardiman fits the bill, apparently. She joined Facebook last summer from the Times, where she was leading mobile and news products like the publication’s mobile news app, according to her Facebook post.
Now she’ll work with publishers to help build “storytelling formats,” like Facebook’s Instant Articles product, and will also try to “continue curbing the spread of false news” on Facebook, she wrote.
The false news issues at the company have been a major point of discussion since last fall’s presidential election. Just last week, Facebook issued a report that confirmed that “malicious actors” tried to game its algorithm during the election to negatively influence the public perception of one of the candidates (presumed to be Hillary Clinton). Hiring a head of news product adds to the company’s admission that it can do a much better job of preventing false news from gaining traction on the network.
Hardiman will start her new role in June, and work in Facebook’s New York office under Fidji Simo, Facebook’s VP in charge of news and video.
—By Kurt Wagner, Recode.net.
CNBC’s parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Recode’s parent Vox, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.