A simple research study demonstrated how FB’s algorithm readily amplify extremist political viewpoints on the left and right. The root cause is that FB optimizes for time spent engaged with FB – and does not optimize for what you may wish to see. The result is FB optimizes to keep you perpetually outraged.
Oldest trick in the regulatory book: Once the government starts discussing regulation of social media, Facebook steps up with its own proposals (of course), which, as is typical of much regulation, work to preserve entrenched incumbents while harming competitors and largely stopping new competitors from forming.
Facebook completely controls public discourse in a totalitarian fashion. The WSJ reveals internal FB documents showing that FB “white lists” up to 6 million accounts world wide to get exemptions or special treatment from content moderation. The FB system applies to both FB and Instagram, and tends to include politicians (even down to the local city council level), actors, news media, sports personalities, academics – even those with very large followings on social media.
Because the FB content moderation system makes frequent errors, FB wanted to avoid the publicity that happens when a prominent person was censored by FB – thus, they excluded elite people from the system.
Through this system, Facebook controls public discourse – everyone can speak equally except some can speak “more equally than others” (to paraphrase Animal Farm).
The company has lied to the public about this system in the past, claiming that everyone was treated equally. But they are not. When public speech is censored by Facebook, Facebook becomes the arbiter of all information. In this case, FB has decided that elite members of society are more important than you or I and are given special speech privileges. Imagine the impact this has when some can promote (propagandize) their views but others are denied that option.
Facebook is a true menace to society.
Twitter argues that access to, apparently, Twitter is a “human right”. Yet Twitter itself frequently cuts others off of Twitter for bizarre reasons. This tweet by Twitter does not seem to have been well thought out.
Automated license plate readers have been widely deployed and are monitoring our travels throughout the U.S. This is in addition to companies like Google and others tracking our every move via smart phones.
Facebook CEO did, in fact, intercede in FB’s teams decisions regarding acceptable speech on Facebook. Now we get government censorship via proxy – and let billionaires decide what we are allowed to read, see or hear.
The large social media companies have demonstrated they have more power than government, government leaders and government agencies. At what point does this get treated by a government as a declaration of war, and get a corresponding response?
Facebook, Twitter and so on, will come under regulatory scrutiny this year, may lose their Section 230 protections, plus privacy protections embedded in the os (like iOS) may limit information gathering by social media apps, just as consumers may also be losing their interest in social media.
Facebook accounted for almost 80% – with Parler near 5%. Which social media platform was shut down?
Social media platforms played a major role in planning and implementing the assault on the U.S. Capitol. It also appears that Facebook may have been ground zero, in spite of spin that such activities occurred on Parler or other platforms.