This Business

December 2021 - Facebook | 1st Runner Up

It’s been a long time since we’ve clicked the like button for Facebook…or whatever it’s calling itself these days. And with so much misinformation across the social media platform, we don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Facebook first landed in the hot seat when it let fake news and political propaganda run wild during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. And it’s only gotten worse since then—especially now that a whistleblower has spoken up about how the platform perpetuates misinformation and violence.

In addition, Facebook’s own user data indicates that far-right pages are among the most trafficked on the platform, with conservative radicals like Shawn Hannity, Ben Shapiro and Franklin Graham consistently netting more than their fair share of likes and comments. In a company email revealed by The New York Times, Nick Clegg, VP of global affairs at Facebook, aptly claimed, “Our own tools are helping journos to consolidate the wrong narrative.”

In short, this means Facebook has become the de facto home for dangerous far-right talking points around QAnon conspiracy theories, pro-Donald Trump rhetoric, misinformation about COVID-19 and a spicy side of hate speech. What was once a “hot-or-not platform” for university students is now a fake news fire bomb that burns its users in real time: Facebook refers users to suspect sites over 15% of the time, while authoritative sites receive barely 6% of referrals through the platform.

Facebook has become a forest of fake news—and the consequences are spreading like wildfire. Using FakeNews.Sucks to right past wrongs should be Mark Zuckerberg’s first line of defense (not announcing a new parent brand identity). Hopefully, he takes advantage of this domain before the platform goes up in smoke.

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