Facebook can’t manage the harm it causes

❝ Never before has one company’s failure had such a devastating impact on the world. Facebook’s presence is truly global, as are the consequences of its failure to anticipate how its platform could be misused and abused. And yet never before has a single company been asked to fix a global problem.

❝ Racists, autocrats, and purveyors of hate and disorder have found Facebook the perfect medium for spewing poison, normalizing it, and gaining adherents. Facebook is a broadcast platform for anyone, including those who would break the rules, fake the news, lie, and mislead the community. Societies around the world are reeling from the consequences. Politics and democracy are under duress. And thus far, Facebook does not have an effective way to fight back. It is only beginning to try…

❝ Facebook received repeated warnings for at least six years from informed observers around the world that things were going wrong. But it appears to have almost entirely disregarded them. Gaining more users in any and all geographies was the company’s overarching priority, and it succeeded. The service was growing at an incredible pace into just about every country on earth. It is now a dominant medium of communications, typically the most dominant, in about 190 countries.

It expanded at full tilt into innumerable geographies where it lacked local expertise. But how could it possibly ensure its rules were being followed when nobody at the company spoke the local language or understood the nuances of the local culture? It couldn’t.

RTFA! David Kirkpatrick continues to provide socially useful analysis and evaluation in the online world we all know and love – and criticize. I certainly take the time to pay him close attention when I catch his appearance online or on the tube (sic).

9 thoughts on “Facebook can’t manage the harm it causes

  1. Michelle Meaders says:

    Frontline
    The Facebook Dilemma (Part 1) #3704
    Monday, October 29, 09:00 pm on KNME-HD 5.1

    Duration: 0:56:46

    Description: Early warnings about Facebook’s impact on privacy and democracy in the U.S. and around the world. Dozens of original interviews and rare footage show how the company faced claims of misuse while becoming an unprecedented global power.

    [HD][CC]

    View Additional Airings
    10/31/18, 4:00 am KNME-HD 5.1
    11/01/18, 7:00 am KNMD-HD 9.1 WORLD
    11/01/18, 1:00 pm KNMD-HD 9.1 WORLD
    11/04/18, 10:00 pm KNMD-HD 9.1 WORLD

    Broadcast In: English

    Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/

  2. Zuckerberged says:

    “What Facebook Did to American Democracy : And why it was so hard to see it coming” (The Atlantic 10/12/18) https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/10/what-facebook-did/542502/
    “Hackers Sell Bundle Of 81,000 Facebook Messages To Criminal 3rd Party: Report” (Hotnewhiphop.com 11/2/18) https://www.hotnewhiphop.com/hackers-sell-bundle-of-81-000-facebook-messages-to-criminal-3rd-party-report-news.63699.html “According to the BBC, hackers gained access to a rumored 120 million Facebook accounts, of which they’ve reportedly put private messages from about 81,000 handles, up for sale on the black market. Although the BBC was quick to report on the “breach of confidentiality,” they also suggest the final numbers might be misleading.” BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-46065796

  3. 2Big2Fail says:

    “Facebook Let Myanmar Perpetrate Genocide : A timeline for horror” https://warisboring.com/facebook-let-myanmar-perpetrate-genocide/ “…Many of the techniques deployed by the Myanmar military are clearly similar to those successfully employed by domestic and foreign social media manipulators in the United States. Systematic dismissal of unfavorable news coverage as “fake news,” adoption of dehumanizing terms for opposing political groups, attribution of false or exaggerated violence to minorities and “immigrants” to justify force and violent “tough talk” and extreme rhetoric that makes real-life violence all the more likely.”

  4. Opprobrium says:

    “Fake News, Lynch-Mobs, And Sacrificial Lambs” https://www.telesurenglish.net/analysis/Fake-News-Lynch-Mobs-And-Sacrificial-Lambs–20181112-0001.html
    “WhatsApp, which was bought by Facebook for $19bn in 2014, has been the source of lynchings across the globe, often started by fake stories of child abductors.
    According to a 2018 report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Both WhatsApp and Facebook are widely used for news consumption in Mexico.
    Very recently, newly-elected Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, was caught up in a scandal of allegedly disseminating fake news stories using Whatsapp, in order to gain more votes. Despite being summoned to a court hearing, his campaign trail failed to lose momentum, and he was elected president days later.
    “We believe the challenge of mob violence requires action from technology companies, civil society, and governments,” Whatsapp officials told the BBC, while taking steps to minimize chain messages by limiting the amount of users messages can be forwarded to.
    A spokesman for Facebook told the BBC the platform “did not want our services to be used to incite violence”. (see also “India: Mob Lynchings Attributed to Fake News on Whatsapp”)

  5. Zuckerberged says:

    “Facebook officials on Wednesday admitted to digging up dirt on Jewish billionaire George Soros and its competitors less than a week after The New York Times published an explosive exposé on the tech giant. Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s head of communication and policy, published a blog post detailing the company’s decision to hire Definers Public Affairs, a Republican opposition research firm, and why it aimed its effort at the company’s critics, including Soros.” https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/facebook-target-george-soros-billionaire_us_5bf5d6f2e4b0771fb6b5b1ec
    “A racial justice group got death threats after Facebook launched secret smear campaign
    Color of Change didn’t know why they were getting more public threats — until the Facebook exposé came out” https://www.salon.com/2018/11/19/a-racial-justice-group-started-getting-death-threats-after-facebook-launched-secret-smear-campaign/
    Color of Change: Facebook Retaliated Against Protests by Pushing Anti-Semitic, Anti-Black Narratives https://www.democracynow.org/2018/11/16/color_of_change_facebook_retaliated_against

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