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Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Facebook, social is not always good for democracy

ROME - The effect of social media on democracy? It has not always been positive. So Facebook on the official blog publishes a new long mea culpa for not being able to catch on time what was happening during the last US elections with the influences of Russian propaganda online.

facebook, social

"I'm not blind to the damage that the internet can do to a well-functioning democracy," writes Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook Product Manager. "In 2016 we were too slow to recognize that negative actors were abusing our platform and we are now working to neutralize risks like these."

"For many years," writes Katie Harbath, FB's Global Politics and Government Outreach Director, the answer to the question about the effects of social media on democracy "seemed easy" as well as positive. However, "the last US presidential campaign changed things, with a foreign interference that Facebook would have to identify faster until the advent of fake news and 'echo chambers'". These are situations in which information, ideas or news are amplified thanks to their transmission and repetition in a "closed" system in which different points of view can not be found.

Therefore, Harbath continues, "we are determined as never before to combat negative influences and to make sure that our platform is undoubtedly a resource for democratic good". "Our role is to ensure that good exceeds the forces that can compromise healthy speeches". 

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