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US media: Facebook helped spread misinformation

US media: Facebook helped spread misinformation

  • The press describes an experiment in which the fake account was created for “Carol”, a fictional conservative woman. Within a week, Carol started receiving recommendations on Facebook to follow sites related to conspiracy theories
  • Another topic raised is the role the site played in spreading the novel about alleged fraud in the 2020 US presidential election.
  • This is another leak of internal company documents showing that the portal is not able to control dangerous content distributed through it, and that its algorithms even contribute to this.
  • More information can be found on the Onet homepage

Publications including. AP agencies, New York Times and Fox Business Network stations are based on company documents obtained from Facebook whistleblowers. Some are documents previously shared by another whistleblower, Francis Hogan, who was behind the series of articles in the Wall Street Journal in September. They shed more light on the company’s activities in the face of misinformation spreading on the portal.

The New York Times describes the experiment by Facebook employees who created a fake account for “Carol,” a fictitious 41-year-old conservative woman who “liked” the right-wing pages of Fox News and local Sinclair TV stations. Collection. A week later, Carol started receiving recommendations on Facebook to follow relevant sites conspiracy theory, declaring, inter alia, that then-US President Donald Trump was leading the fight against a global conspiracy of child-abusing elites.

The documents show that Facebook did not take action until about a year after the study was conducted, when the theory gained much more popularity.

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Another topic discussed is the role played by the portal in spreading the narrative about alleged fraud in the US presidential election in 2020. According to one document, immediately after the election, up to 10 percent. All Facebook posts about politics allegedly revolve around this topic. Some employees criticized the company for its too weak reaction to attempts to widely disseminate these theories and organize widespread extremist circles before the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The authors of an internal report in March 2021 came to the same conclusion. , although they said that thanks to content moderation, it was possible to halve the amount of misinformation being spread.

The Saturday articles are another leak of internal company documents that show that the portal does not want or cannot control the dangerous and polarizing content distributed through it, and that its algorithms are already contributing to this. Similar conclusions were drawn from a series of articles in the Wall Street Journal, based on documents provided by Francis Hogan. They said, for example, that people-smugglers and drug gangs were openly active on Facebook, and that the site played an important role in spreading ethnic hatred, contributing to crimes in Ethiopia and Burma.

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