Grading Facebook’s Homework

  1. After requesting ranking algorithm tweaks to reduce distribution of progressive news publishers (https://www.motherjones.com/media/2020/10/facebook-mother-jones/), Facebook policy leaders protected conservative partners from misinformation strikes (https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/facebook-arbiter-truth-fact-check-mark-zuckerberg) and demonstrated that liberal pages don’t get the same protection (https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/facebook-cut-traffic-liberal-pages-before-election).
  2. Even after getting 455 reports, Facebook refused to take down a conservative page until after the event it organized turned into a deadly shootout (https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/facebook-failed-kenosha).
  3. In sworn testimony to Senate, Zuckerberg claimed to be unaware of the internal study showing that 64% of extremist group joins are due to Facebook’s recommendation tools, even though he previously criticized the WSJ coverage of that study in an internal Q&A with employees (https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/facebook-suspended-group-recommendations-election).
  1. You had an allegedly more comprehensive engagement metric this entire time and you held it back from the public? Why?
  2. The top 2 and 6 out of top 10 pages are conservative, and the President-elect who as of the current count won the election 50.7% to 47.5% of the popular vote gets 6x less engagement than his opponent.
  1. The conservative pages are more likely to spread misinformation and delegitimize elections.
  2. Facebook has the tools to curb misinformation.
  3. Facebook chose not to deploy these tools until the last few days of a two years long elections cycle.

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