Summary of Can Facebook Fix Its Own Worst Bug?

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Can Facebook Fix Its Own Worst Bug? summary

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8 Overall

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7 Innovation

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A 2017 Harvard/MIT study found that Facebook, along with other social media, served as a ready vehicle for misinformation during the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election. Social media helped users stay within filter bubbles, cocoons of conformity where they became a captive audience for partisan perspectives. Journalist Farhad Manjoo explores the dark side of Facebook’s immense global influence and asks whether company CEO Mark Zukerberg is willing to shoulder responsibility equal to the Internet behemoth’s power. getAbstract recommends reading this incisive study of Facebook’s role on the global stage.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why Facebook faces criticism for its role in the 2016 US presidential election,
  • How Facebook’s News Feed feature potentially creates a filter bubble and
  • How Facebook is adapting to its position as a globally influential news entity.
 

About the Author

Journalist and author Farhad Manjoo writes the State of the Art column for The New York Times.

 

Summary

Around the time of Donald J. Trump’s 2017 presidential inauguration, Mark Zuckerberg apparently underwent an awakening of sorts. An early January interview – before the inauguration – found the Facebook CEO beaming and voluble. He voiced pride in Facebook’s central role in election-period conversations and displayed a nonchalance with regard to charges that Facebook had provided a ready tool for propagandists and partisan trolls. During another interview a month later, Zuckerberg came across as more self-reflective, less certain, more questioning. He shared the draft of a new manifesto for Facebook, in which he acknowledged that the company’s mission “to make the world more open and connected” might have had unintended consequences. Giving everyone a voice may not be purely beneficial.

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