Headline, July 20 2020/ ''' '' FACEBOOK'S !WOW! FAIRBOOMS '' '''

''' '' FACEBOOK'S 


''YOU SEE LOTS OF PEOPLE - STUDENTS PUTTING forth a hopeful idea of a new, humane social media platform to rescue us - one that respects privacy -

Or is less algorthimically coercive,'' Siva Vaidhyanathan, a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia, told me recently. ''But if we are being honest, what they're really proposing at that point is not really social media anymore.''

In other words, the architecture is the problem. ''I think social media have been bad for humans. And we shouldn't keep trying to imagine we should either fix or reinvent what is fundamentally a bad idea,'' he said.

''WE KNOW WE HAVE MORE WORK TO DO.'' That was the line from numerous Facebook  representatives last month in reaction to the #StopHateForProfit advertising boycott campaign.

Intended to pressure the company to curb hate speech and misinformation, the boycott has been joined by several high-profile brands, including Unilever and Verizon and could make a rare dent in Facebook's ad revenue.

The campaign seems to be having an effect. In late June, Facebook announced that it would add labels to content about voting and expand its hate speech policies. The company also added a  ''newsworthy'' tag for hateful content from political figures that violates rules but it is allowed because of its news value.

Facebook stressed that all these moves were part of a continuing cleanup. ''We know we have more work to do,'' the statement said.

We Know We Have More Work To Do [ let's call it W.K.W.H.M.W.T.D. for short is the definitive assurance of the social media era, trotted out by executives when their companies come in for a public shaming.

In just eight words, it encapsulates the defensive posture that Facebook has been crouched in ever since the 2016 election, when it became clear that its tolerance of hate-filled communities on its platforms turned them into witting vectors for disinformation and propaganda.

The phrase is both a promise and a deflection. It's a plea for unearned trust - give us time we are working toward progress. And it cuts off meaningful criticism - yes, we know this isn't enough, but more is coming.

In Facebook's case, what is most dangerous about W.K.W.H.M.W.T.D. is that it glosses over the fundamental structural flaws in the platform.

The architecture of social network - its algorithmic mandate of engagement over all else, the advantage it gives to divisive and emotionally manipulative content - will always produce more objectionable content at a dizzying scale.

Facebook frequently uses its unfathomable amount of content as an excuse for inaction. ''We've made huge strides,'' a Facebook spokesman, Nick Clegg, said on CNN last week. ''But, you know, on an average day, there are 115 billion, 115 billion messages sent on our services around the world, and the vast, vast majority of that is positive.''

But Mr. Clegg's defense is also an admission : Facebook is too big to govern responsibly. There will always be more work to do because Facebook's design will always produce more hate than anyone could monitor. How do you reform that? You can't.

Lately, my thoughts on Facebook have been influenced by two separate movements : prison abolition and the push to defund police. There are complex policy issues involved, but the central premise of these movements is elegant in its simplicity.

The bloated and corrupt institutions that they critique are beyond reform. As Mariame Kaba wrote in a recent times Op-Ed essay on defunding the police,''We need to change our demands.''

To be clear, there is no one-to-one comparison between Facebook and the police or the carceral state. Modern policing, as Ms. Kaba notes, has its origins in slave patrols. Facebook's origins are obviously much different.

Still, the movements provide a helpful lens through which to view Facebook. Despite the exchanging debates around content moderation policies and constant incremental tweaks to its rules and policies, glaring problems persist. All signs point to a system beyond reform.

The Honor and Serving of latest Operational Research on Social Networks and beyond, continues. The World Students Society thanks Charlie Warzel, Writer at Large.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all  prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society: wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

''' Unprecedented - Unparalleled '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!