The disclosures by whistleblower Frances Haugen about Facebook — first to the Wall Street Journal and then to “60 Minutes” and Congress — ought to be the stuff of shareholders’ nightmares: When she left Facebook, she took with her documents showing, for example, that the corporation knew Instagram was making girls’ body-image issues worse, that internal investigators knew a Mexican drug cartel was using the platform to recruit hit men and that the company misled its own Oversight Board about having a separate content appeals process for a large number of influential users.
Facebook may be too big for the revelations to hurt its market position, a sign that it may be long past time for the government to step in and regulate the social media company. (Facebook’s stock has dropped about 4 percent since Oct. 1.) But for policymakers to effectively regulate Facebook — as well as Google, Twitter, TikTok and other Internet companies — they need to understand what is actually happening on the platforms.
To continue reading this opinion piece by Nathaniel Persily, professor of law at Stanford Law School and director of the Stanford Cyber Policy Center, in the Washington Post, go to:
Facebook’s Algorithm Comes Under Scrutiny
Scott Simms, who was the Liberal member of Parliament for a riding in northern Newfoundland until he was defeated in last month’s Canadian election, believes that Facebook’s algorithm adjustment of 2018 increased the amount of anger he faced when knocking on doors.
Until 2017, the area he represented was served by the Grand Falls Advertiser, a community newspaper. The Advertiser, which began publication in 1936, closed after losing its advertising revenue to social media. Now central Newfoundland is a news desert, which has increased the importance of Facebook in the lives of the people there.