I Facebook Papers, a large collection of documents provided by the informant Frances Haugen, have been published by the editors of Reuters, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, and many others. The documents depict a company that has repeatedly tried to prioritize market monopoly and profit at the expense of user safety. It seems that Facebook was in fact aware that it was putting its users at risk even in real life through hatred and disinformation.
Facebook Papers: The platform was aware of hatred and misinformation
According to what emerged in the documents, Facebook was well aware that the problem of hate speech was much wider than what was publicly stated. The social network removed less than five percent of hate speech episodes on the platform and executives, including Zuckerberg, they were well aware that social was polarizing people.
Particularly important in this sense is an internal research of the company, which shows how the Like and Share functions, fundamental elements of the functioning of the platform, have accelerated the spread of hate speech. A document, entitled What Is Collateral Damage, says Facebook’s failure to remedy these problems has led the company to “actively (if not knowingly) promote this type of business,” harming its users.
A very worrying stance, if it turns out to be true. As expected, the claims have already been refuted by the company, although it is not clear how, given that the CEO has for now limited himself to saying that the documents have been misrepresented.
Moreover, precisely in this context, the platform was accused of having fueled the unrest in developing countries, as in the case of Myanmar, in which Facebook may be responsible for amplifying local unrest that eventually escalated into the civil war. In short, noteworthy accusations, and which will probably put the Zuckerberg platform in the eye of the storm for many more months.