Monday, January 22, 2018

Facebook Says Social Media Is Not Always Healthy for Democracy - Bloomberg

See Hard Questions: Social Media and Democracy (Facebook Newsroom) for more details; also see Cass Sunstein's essay, Guest Post: Is Social Media Good or Bad for Democracy? (Facebook Newsroom), which begins "On balance, the question of whether social media platforms are good for democracy is easy. On balance, they are not merely good; they are terrific. For people to govern themselves, they need to have information. They also need to be able to convey it to others. Social media platforms make that tons easier."

"“From the Arab Spring to robust elections around the globe, social media seemed like a positive,” Katie Harbath, who runs the Facebook team that builds relationships with governments around the world, wrote in a blog post. “The last U.S. presidential campaign changed that, with foreign interference that Facebook should have been quicker to identify, to the rise of ‘fake news’ and echo chambers.”

Following the November 2016 election, Menlo Park, California-based Facebook has frequently promised to work harder and devote more resources to fixing such issues. But it also usually emphasized that bad actors made up a small percentage of activity and that, overall, the company was doing something good for society. Facebook’s post today is the most self-critical assessment of the company’s impact to date, complete with an admission that its efforts may not be successful."
Facebook Says Social Media Is Not Always Healthy for Democracy - Bloomberg

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