(DI) Facebook has finally admitted that the social media platform may be detrimental to democracy.
In a series of blog posts today, Facebook execs said the site was ‘far too slow’ in identifying negative influences that rose with the 2016 US election, citing Russian interference, ‘toxic discourse,’ and the ‘dangerous consequences’ of fake news.
Now, Facebook says it is ‘making up for lost time’ in fighting forces that threaten to ‘corrode’ democracy.
The firm is set to roll out major changes to the News Feed, with plans to prioritize content from friends and family, and make posts from business, brands, and media less prominent – and, ensure the ‘news people see, while less overall, is high quality.’
In three blog posts, Facebook warned today that it could offer no assurance that social media was on balance good for democracy.
While social media previously ‘seemed like a positive,’ Facebook’s Global Politics and Government Outreach Director Katie Harbath says ‘the last US presidential campaign changed that.’
‘Facebook should have been quicker to identify to the rise of “fake news” and echo chambers,’ Harbath wrote, acknowledging the influence of foreign interference.’