Facebook Accepts That Sometimes It Can Be A Threat To Democracy

facebook threat to democracy
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I n the 2016 US elections, social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and others played a big part in shaping the public opinion. Initially, Mark Zuckerberg refused to accept the fact that Facebook might have played a big–direct as well as indirect–role in amplifying the noise insides “echo chambers.” However, with time, the $400 billion social networking company has learned to soften its approach.

In a series of recent blog posts, Facebook executives have come up with some “hard questions” and tried to take some responsibility by accepting that the company has been a negative influence on the community.

Facebook’s Product Manager, Civic Engagement, Samidh Chakrabarti, in a post, accepts that they failed to predict the Russian influence on the elections and they’re making up for the same. To make politics on Facebook more transparent, the company is planning to turn the ads being run by an advertiser public and making it mandatory for organizations to confirm their identities while creating advertising campaigns.

It’s not hidden that fake news stories have great potential to influence people’s behavior and perception. As per Chakrabarti, the company has made it easier to report such stories and reduce the further impressions of the story. “We’re also working to make it harder for bad actors to profit from the false news, eliminating their incentive to create this content in the first place,” he adds.

Further, Facebook has accepted that the social network creates echo chambers where people only read and watch content they like. To counter this issue, the company is testing Related Articles that show relevant stories with different viewpoints.

The post goes on to describes many other ways social media affects democracy in a negative manner. “At its best, it allows us to express ourselves and take action. At its worst, it allows people to spread misinformation and corrode democracy,” it adds.

What is your perception? Should we continue using Facebook and expect it to learn from its repeated mistakes? Share your views with us and become a part of the discussion.

Also Read: Zuckerberg Is Learning How Cryptocurrency Works To Make Facebook Better
Adarsh Verma

Adarsh Verma

Fossbytes co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email — [email protected]
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