The Facebook Dilemma

You need to know this.


I’m a contributor to PBS, and FRONTLINE is one of the reasons I watch.

If you missed the 2-part Frontline program this week about the rise of Facebook and the impact it’s having on increasing polarization and conflict throughout the world, you need to find a way to watch it.

The algorithm Facebook uses to put content in front of your eyes encourages divisiveness.

It is designed to reward conflict and outrageousness.

It’s the perfect tool for the creators of fake news, no matter which side you’re on.

I think you can watch both hours free HERE.

If that doesn’t work, you can watch any PBS program free online if you become a monthly subscriber, and there are so many good programs on PBS, including NATURE, and NOVA, and MASTERPIECE THEATER, it’s well worth $5 a month.

You need to watch “The Facebook Dilemma” on Frontline because those in charge of FB, at the highest levels, are being disingenuous about their surprise at the link between the growth of Facebook and the rise in fake news, tribalism, and global conflict and unrest.

If you need proof of that, check out this VICE piece on Facebook HERE.

What Facebook cares about is their own growth and if that causes disruption, even death, they don’t seem to care enough to change how they do business.

Look, real journalism is difficult. It’s expensive. It requires ethics and hour upon hour of dogged work. It seeks truth.

This ad from the NY TIMES reflects it:

I don’t really care about your politics. No matter which side you’re on, there are bad actors trying to exploit you and Facebook is making this easier, not harder.

These bad actors are using data made available by Facebook to pit us against each other, no matter which party or religion or country you support.

It’s happening in Brazil, where fake news propogated on WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, helped elect an authoritarian President last month.

It’s not just happening in America. It’s happening everywhere there is an open internet.

Distrust is the goal. Chaos is the goal. This is serious.

It’s time to stand up and demand change.

It may already be too late, but let’s hope not.

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