It is becoming increasingly clear that Facebook is not going back to the habits of the past.
It was assumed that many rules of the election years had changed its rules, intensifying enforcement to combat political misinformation, which were temporary.
However, the January 6 uprising, the rise of misinformation about COVID vaccines, the persistent spread of malicious conspiracies, combined with the new US president աշխարհում regulating control around the world, are forcing to count on the social network.
“They do not want to be arbitrators of free speech,” said Cliff Lampe, a professor of social media platforms, moderation and disinformation at the University of Michigan. “But they must be.”
For CEO Mark Uck Uckerberg, last year presented a series of humble events that shattered his long-held assertion that Facebook is a global power forever. In Facebook posts, public commentary, and discussions with employees, the CEO seems to be increasingly confronted with the dark side of the empire he has created.
Approach former President Donald Trump, who until January enjoyed special treatment on Facebook այլ on other social media platforms despite spreading misinformation, sowing hatred և, which ultimately prevented him from inciting violence.
“Over the past few years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform to comply with our own rules, sometimes deleting content or tagging his posts when they violate our policy,” Uck կերkerberg wrote on his Facebook page on January 7. explaining the company’s decision to suspend Trump. “We did it because we believe that the public has the right to have maximum access to political speech, even contradictory speech.”
The day before, supporters of the violent uprising, which angered Trump, descended on the US Capitol in a deadly riot. Before Facebook (արգել other technology companies)’s move to ban the president of the session was unprecedented, many called it too little, too late.
It is not yet clear whether Facebook will permanently oust the former president, as will Twitter. The company made that decision before its almost independent Orientation Board, a sort of Facebook Supreme Court of Enforcement, which is expected to rule in April. On Thursday, Zuckerberg, along with Twitter executives, will testify before Congress against extremism and misinformation on their system.
Companies like Facebook are “creeping into tougher action,” said Rac Jennifer Graigel, a communications professor at Syracuse University and a social media expert, noting that Trump’s ban does not just delay years of inactivity.
Lampe said he has no doubt that Facebook would like to return to its approach of 2020, but that public pressure to crack down on extremism is likely to prevail. This is because the online extremism that underpins social media in the United States and around the world is increasingly associated with real violence.
The company is facing a growing internal drive from more and more employees, some of whom have publicly stopped work, organized marches and protests over the past year. Meanwhile, last summer, advertisers boycotted Facebook’s business. And activists are finding increasing support from legislatures at the state, federal, and global levels.
Essica Gonzalez, a lawyer for the Free Press racial justice group, recently joined Democrat Tony Cardenas, a Latin American activist, in calling on Facebook to crack down on hatred and misinformation against Latinos in the United States. He said that when he and other civil rights activists met with Uck Uckerberg last summer during a boycott of the company’s advertising campaign, he reminded him of the 2019 massacre in El Paso, in which a gunman targeting Mexicans killed 23 people.
“Facebook has a choice,” he said. It could be a “hate hatred vector that hurts people of color, Latinos, immigrants, other groups” or on the right side of the story.
“There has been a lot of talk so far,” Gonzalez said.
Facebook says it has met with organizations and shares their goal of ending Spanish-language misinformation in its programs.
“We are taking aggressive steps to combat misinformation in Spanish և dozens of other languages, including the removal of millions of COVID-19 կտոր vaccines,” the company said in a statement.
Although his actions often stopped, the social media giant has been trying to address some of the criticisms leveled at him in recent years. In addition to disinformation about the election, it has restricted the campaign against vaccines, banned extremist groups such as QAnon, restricted users to other problematic groups, and sought to provide authoritative information from health agencies and trusted media outlets.
“There is no single solution to the fight against misinformation, which is why we are attacking it from so many angles,” Facebook said in a statement, pointing to the removal of fake accounts, systematic networks, verification of partnership facts, and the provision of authoritative information. “We know that these efforts do not capture everything, so we are always working with policymakers, scholars and other experts to adapt to the latest trends in misinformation.”
Facebook’s reluctant orientation towards more self-regulation did not start in 2020. From the elections. An earlier turning point for the company u uck uckerberg, Lampen recalls, was the company’s role in inciting genocidal violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
In 2018, Facebook prepared a report on the role of its platform in promoting ethnic cleansing. It found that Facebook “has become a tool for those who want to spread hatred, to cause harm, and to post off-line violence.”
“It was a humiliating experience for the company (personally (uck uckerberg),” Lampe said.
After Myanmar, Zuckerberg promised to do better, but failures to stop the spread of military propaganda continued. Now that the country is under military coup, it is facing another “emergency” that has no obvious end.
The US presidential election was also described as an emergency, like the COVID-19 epidemic, which recently prompted Facebook to expand its anti-vaccine fraud policy by banning claims that the vaccines were ineffective or toxic. or cause autism, all of which have been completely dismantled.
This series of emergencies represents a significant shift for Facebook. Or is the company simply responding to the changing political climate of wanting to see Big Tech’s regulated, dangerous speech? Not everyone is sure. The company has become a corner.
“At the end of the day, Facebook’s response to misinformation will always be about how to increase their user engagement and advertising revenue,” said Alexandra Sirone, a professor at Cornell University who studies the impact of misinformation on government.
While tech companies expect a stronger settlement with President Biden’s administration, Siron says the company is likely to respond to the fact that “there are conservative organizations, politicians and donors who give Facebook a significant amount of advertising revenue.” »
“No matter who the president is, as long as Republicans or other groups spend millions advertising on Facebook, they are slowly settling in,” he said.