On Monday, a group of seventeen United States news organizations released a series of reports detailing how Facebook and its platforms worsened the spread of harmful content and misinformation and failed to abusive police content internationally. In addition, a former employee of Facebook provided thousands of pages of internal documents to the United States Congress that represent an internally conflicted firm where statistics on the harms it causes are rich, but solutions, much less the will to act on them, are stopping at best.
“The Facebook Papers” will prove Mark Zuckerberg has always been more interested in profit over people, and even over democracy surviving in America.
FB is the largest broadcaster in the world, yet refuses to take any responsibility for the trash they spew !
ACCOUNTABILITY ! pic.twitter.com/tvfLzYYSGH
— Jason Bourne (@TheOriginalWTH) October 25, 2021
The documents exposed the crisis, and it shows how Facebook, in spite of its regularly affirmed good intentions, appears to sidelined or slow-walked efforts to combat real harms the social platform magnified or sometimes created. Moreover, they reveal several occasions where scientists and rank-and-file staff disclosed deep-seated issues that the firm then ignored. In a blistering demonstration before the United States Congress this month, Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistle-blower, accused the social media firm of propagating division and driving ethnic violence to pursue many profits.
Haugen told members of the United Kingdom Parliament on Monday that Facebook has a massive weak spot in reporting problems up the ladder. Further, she adds that Facebook is making hate worse. Ultimate responsibility rests with Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, who holds what one ex-worker described as authoritarian authority over an organization that gathers statistics on and provides free services to around three billion users across the world.
Facebook Failed to Address the Issue
Zuckerberg failed to combat falling engagement with Facebook in the United States and Western Europe – specifically among young people and teenagers, who now perceive it as an outdated network. In its quest to expand its power and reach, the social media company advocated for higher user growth outside these regions. However, as it expanded into less familiar world parts, the firm failed to anticipate or address the unintentional significances of signing up millions of new users without providing systems and staff members to recognize and restrict the spread of misinformation, hate speech, and calls to violence.
For example, In Myanmar and Afghanistan, the extremist language grew because of the systemic lack of language support for content moderation. In Myanmar, it is linked to slaughters committed against the minority Rohingya Muslim population of the country. However, Facebook appears unable to admit, much less prevent, the real-world security damage associated with its unfettered development. Those damages include shadowy algorithms that allow for the radicalization of Facebook users through persistent misinformation, which brings extremism and becomes the cause of teen suicide, human trafficking, and other problems.
Facebook Denied Claims that it Put Profit over People
Internal efforts to lessen such issues have usually been pushed aside or wild when solutions conflict with development and growth – and, by profit, extension. Haugen told the United Kingdom parliament that the social media giant views safety as a cost center, not a further growth investment. On Friday, Facebook released a prepared statement to deny claims it puts profit over user safety.
The company accepted that they are a business and they make a profit, but the idea that they do so at the expense of the safety or well-being of users misunderstands where their own commercial interests lie. Furthermore, it added that they invested thirteen billion dollars in the business and have more than forty thousand people to do one job – keep users safe on Facebook.
Haugen said that Facebook should declare moral bankruptcy if it is to go ahead with all this. At this moment, that seems unlikely. Statements like these are the new indication that Facebook got into what former Facebook data scientist Sophie Zhang defined as a siege mentality at the firm. Last year, Zhang accused the social media giant of ignoring fake accounts to destabilize or interrupt foreign elections.
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