Facebooks role in spreading news, especially fake news, has been in the spotlight since last yearspresidential election. Now its promotingAlex Hardimanto leadits news efforts on the product side.
Hardiman worked at The New York Times, most recently as vice president of news products, until joining Facebook last year.
She wrote on Facebookthat her new rolewill involve working with news organizationsto monetize and develop new formats, while also partnering with teams in Facebook to continue curbing the spread of false news.
Recode previously reportedthat Facebook was looking to hire a head of news products to combatfake news. The fact that a product person will be playing a key role in this fight seems reflective of the approach that the company wants to take on these issues an approachthat emphasizes technology over editorial involvement (though again, Hardiman said shell be working on other teams, including the companys new journalism project).
Even beyond fake news, Hardiman seems to have a lot of work to do, with news publishers increasingly resistant to Facebooks Instant Articles, largely due to the lack of monetization options.
Still, she sounds charged up about the challenge. Hardiman wrote:
Taking this role is a deeply personal decision for me.My great-grandmother was a radio and television pioneer in the midwest and spent her life providing Americans with access to high quality news. My grandfather spent his career as a broadcast journalist tackling racial discrimination and social injustice. I grew up in News, spending 10 years at The New York Times transforming the company into a mobile-first organization with products like The Timess iPhone news app The weight and opportunity of this challenge is both humbling and thrilling, and I cant wait to get started.
I interviewed her a few years ago about her work at The Times. Check it out below.