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Facebook hires former NYT public editor Liz Spayd as a consultant to fight fake news

Facebook has hired former New York Times public editor Liz Spayd on a consulting basis to help manage the company’s efforts around giving users more “transparency” into how the massive social network makes decisions, reported Re:Code .


A Facebook spokesperson said that her job would be to help expand early moves to chronicle what it does related to everything from terrorism to fake news to privacy. Her charge is basically to move the company out of its comfort zone in disclosing how it works internally.


As part of its effort to look and feel more open to its user base, Facebook has talked a lot about its efforts to fight fake news. Zuckerberg has talked publicly and also wrote a massive blog post about Facebook’s broader mission and responsibility to use technology like artificial intelligence to help fight things like fake news, but also encourage more people to have conversations about controversial topics. He and other Facebook execs have been debating internally how best to communicate this and more, although it is unlikely we will get the down and dirty on every decision that impacts users.


Spayd had been the latest to pen an independent column about the newsgathering process at the news organization, representing its readers. But the position was eliminated altogether by the Times brass earlier this summer. Spayd has also been one of the more controversial public editors to have served at the Times, attracting criticism for a number of columns.

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