Headline: “Five points for anger, one for a ‘like’: How Facebook’s formula fostered rage and misinformation”
I must have signed up for Facebook a long time ago, because for years I have had it bookmarked and can scroll down to see postings that appear on it. I never initiate a post but I sometimes click on “like” and occasionally make a comment. A few people I know post with some frequency and I enjoy seeing what they have to say and looking at photos they display. Most of the items I see when I scroll down are posts by public figures, usually prominent progressive political or media figures. Many postings are political fund raising requests. Facebook obviously steered these people to me. Every now and then I see a post by the Dalai Lama and have found them inspiring. I’m never exposed to hate speech or conspiracy theories. Facebook’s famous algorithms presumably wall me off from such noxious stuff, which, the company steers receptive people toward, cranking up vitriol and misinformation, playing on people’s worst instincts and inflicting harm on others and on society. It’s clear from what I’ve read that Facebook hasn’t come close to adequately responding to such exposés. The company needs to be regulated, but this is tricky business because of First Amendment considerations. Unless someone comes up with a better solution soon, it would be best to break Facebook up.