This is a very plain blog with quotes from and links to articles I found interesting, thought-provoking, or relevant to the times. Linking is neither endorsement nor condemnation. Run by http://willslack.com
06 November, 2016
Facebook is harming our democracy, and Mark Zuckerberg needs to do something about it - Vox
Reporters have come under increasing pressure to write “clickbait” articles that pander to readers’ worst impulses. Too-good-to-check stories gain more traction online than stories that are balanced and thoroughly reported. That has worsened the nation’s political polarization and lowered the quality of democratic discourse.
The fundamental problem here is that Facebook’s leadership is in denial about the kind of organization it has become. “We are a tech company, not a media company,” Zuckerberg has said repeatedly over the last few years. In the mind of the Facebook CEO, Facebook is just a “platform,” a neutral conduit for helping users share information with one another.
But that’s wrong. Facebook makes billions of editorial decisions every day. And often they are bad editorial decisions — steering people to sensational, one-sided, or just plain inaccurate stories. The fact that these decisions are being made by algorithms rather than human editors doesn’t make Facebook any less responsible for the harmful effect on its users and the broader society.