Unlike Twitter leaders, the leaders of Facebook do not admit their mistakes in encouraging and gathering extreme groups of users on this social network.
In June 2017, while attending the Facebook Communities Conference in Chicago, USA, Mark Zuckerberg said the best thing this social network has to offer is the meaningful active groups. These groups help users satisfy their passions, needs, and connect with people with similar interests.
At the time Mark spoke, there were about 100 million people joining groups on Facebook. The CEO wants to increase this number of people to 1 billion. The young billionaire believes in his judgment to the point of changing Facebook’s mission from “connecting the world” to “giving strength for people to build communities and bring the world closer together”.
Mark Zuckerberg changed Facebook’s vision with the desire to create meaningful active user groups. Photo: NYTimes.
Extreme user aggregation algorithm
“The community gives us the feeling that we are part of something greater than ourselves, letting us know we are not alone and our purpose is to strive ahead,” Mark shared after the decision Facebook’s mission change.
Three years later, some of these social media groups acted as Mark had thought. They are united for a common goal and full of enthusiasm. However, perhaps Mark could not envision that group of people would undermine the transfer of power after a just and justified presidential election.
Other social media platforms like Parler could be a gathering place for extremists to attack the Capitol. However, Parler’s users acknowledge that.
Facebook’s community-building algorithm somewhat helped increase the number of members on the extremist groups that caused the riot. According to an article above Wall Street Journal published in May 2020, research from Facebook itself found that 64% of people joining extremist groups were due to Facebook’s suggestion tool.
“Our recommendation system has increased the problem,” said the content of the study.
Facebook leaders are struggling in how to manage this social network. Photo: Wired.
As of January 14, an article above New York Times points out that some moderate-minded users have become extremists, after Facebook spread its undemocratic and negative posts, adding loads of followers to those posting accounts.
One user noticed that the more posts he showed of extreme “Trumpism,” the more followers he would have. Shortly after, this person formed a Facebook group with tens of thousands of members with the same desire to deny the election results.
Like what Mark once mentioned, when he becomes an anti-democratic, he “is no longer alone” and “finds people with the same goals as me”. Indeed, the worst has multiplied many times.
In an interview on January 12, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, admitted that the social network was not perfect, but that the company’s general policies worked and were working on a large scale.
Responding to questions about Facebook’s actions in the wake of the riot, Sandberg said the social network knew about the live protests and had removed violent groups such as “Proud Boys”, “QAnon” and “Stop the Steal”. Before being removed, “Stop the Steal” had 320,000 followers, however hashtag #stopthesteal has not been banned until January 11, five days after the January 6 riots.
Facebook executives blamed these Social Network Another cause riot. “I think these cases are largely organized on platforms that do not prevent hostility and do not have the same standards and transparency as ours,” said Sandberg.
COO Sheryl Sandberg does not admit mistakes on the social network she manages. Photo: The Seatle Times.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey seems more outspoken in admitting his company has failed. Like Sandberg, Dorsey said it banned Mr. Trump’s account after the riot.
“I admit the ban was our last failure to promote healthy communication. This is the time for us to reflect on the company’s performance and its surroundings, ”wrote Dorsey in a post.
Of course, social media is not the only one. Politicians’ influence cannot be eliminated, but it is clear that the algorithms Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube use to increase engagement and application development have been exploited too easily.
Community building is a good idea, however, that cannot lend a hand to dangerous groups and is created with destructive goals. It’s not easy to fix this mistake, but admitting failure will be the first step.
According to the Zing / Wired
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