The recent dump of internal documents from Facebook, accompanied by whistleblowers, has made it obvious to anyone listening that Facebook promotes conflict. Is a strong force for dividing the nation(s). Wired has a nice, objective summary of the findings, including some good data showing that Facebook had to know that its platform promoted conflict, anger and divisive speech. The metrics make that clear.
That was all pretty obvious to me in 2016 when pre-election chatter drove a wedge between some of my family members. We pretty much “lost” an aunt and uncle in that foray, and that’s when I deleted my account and data from Facebook. It had been good to keep in touch with certain family members and high school friends, but the downside price is/was too high.
Facebook was always a toxic mix of ads, creepy connectedness and algorithmic amplification of emotion, particularly negative emotion. It finally caught up with them.
It didn’t have to be that way. Facebook’s algorithms could have been weighted toward privacy, respect, ethical speech and collaboration. I wonder who made the calls over time that led them to build such a dark platform?