Facebook: A Weapon not a Tool

“Facebook does not favor hatred. But hatred favors Facebook.” This quote, from Antisocial Media by Siva Vaidhyanathan, is the conclusion of chapter 7, which outlines the many ways Facebook is used to spread misinformation, rebel against democracy, and start political movements, good or bad. This chapter explains that Facebook’s algorithms push any post that gets positive or negative attention, so many posts that are false, ludicrous, violent, and outrageous can achieve just as much traction as legitimate posts that are, true, heartwarming and incredible. Due to this reason, as stated in the reading, it is just too easy for false propaganda, like this post about Hilary Clinton, to be spread among the internet and specifically Facebook. Once these posts reach a certain popularity level they are shared with thousands and millions of users, who are conditioned to believe everything they see on Facebook.

The beginning of Facebook was a benevolent attempt at connecting the world through the internet. Most users go on Facebook or other social media in order to get news and updates on friends, family, sports, and other outlets. Because this is how Facebook is used, the users go onto the app or website believing what they are going to see is true. I’m sure in the beginning almost everything was true from a news standpoint, and personal accounts as well, but that probably hasn’t changed much. Now when users go on Facebook there is the potential to come across ads and posts that are blatantly false without any idea. Part of this occurs because Facebook does not censor or censor well the groups or people buying odds and the content of them. Also, they have tried to eliminate bot accounts from Facebook, but there has not been much success. Facebook really needs to try to be conscientious of the services they provide and how the services can have extreme negative consequences on millions of people.

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