Facebook Inc. acknowledged today that social media can have a negative impact on democracies, and that the company has more work to do in order to ensure that the good outweighs the bad.

“From the Arab Spring to robust elections around the globe, social media seemed like a positive,” Katie Harbath, who runs the Facebook team that builds relationships with governments around the world, wrote in a blog post. “The last U.S. presidential campaign changed that, with foreign interference that Facebook should have been quicker to identify, to the rise of ‘fake news’ and echo chambers.”

Following the November 2016 election, Menlo Park, California-based Facebook has frequently promised to work harder and devote more resources to fixing such issues. But it also usually emphasized that bad actors made up a small percentage of activity and that, overall, the company was doing something good for society. Facebook’s post today is the most self-critical assessment of the company’s impact to date, complete with an admission that its efforts may not be successful.

In the battle against fake news, for example, Facebook has tried several different strategies, such as working with third-party fact-checkers to mark dubious articles as “disputed,” then deciding to offer …read more

Source:: Financial Post – Tech

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