Facebook admits social media is bad for democracy, sometimes

By 7store-3 Admin 0 comments

Facebook suddenly can't stop thinking about what happens to democracy when social media gets involved.

The company acknowledged in three blog posts Monday that social media can be a simmering source of problems for democratic societies. It's an issue that Facebook's been grappling with since the controversies of the 2016 US presidential election.

"In 2016, we at Facebook were far too slow to recognize how bad actors were abusing our platform," Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook's product manager of civic engagement, said in one of the posts.

Chakrabarti pointed directly to fake news as an issue that plagues social media, along with foreign interference, political harassment, unequal participation and echo chambers.

Facebook, which boasts 2 billion users worldwide, has been gradually coming to terms with its massive influence on how citizens get and share information that may not always be trustworthy, and how this in turn affects politics. It hasn't been an easy process: Shortly after Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election in the US, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it was "crazy" to think that fake news on Facebook swayed the results.

Not so crazy, though, to Congress. Two months ago, US senators and representatives grilled the top lawyers from Facebook, Twitter and Google about Russian influence on the election.

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