Why Facebook Can’t Fix Itself

Craig: Jane, I have two quotes for you. Please guess where they came coming from: “This specific’s not enough” and also also also “We know we have more work to do.”

Jane: The first can be me after I finish a large shawarma. The second can be Twitter, probably. How did I do?

Craig: Deliciously incorrect. Both are comments coming from Facebook. Both showed up in articles of which detailed how the company failed to take action against people clearly violating its policies after repeated, detailed warnings.

The first came in a devastating Reuters investigation into how the company utterly failed to police hate speech in Myanmar, and also also also how This specific fed the flames of ethnic cleansing. The second can be a quote given to me for my brand new story about how the company has utterly failed to stop the creation of fake accounts of which use photos of military officers.

Admitting failure can be better than denying reality. nevertheless the breadth and also also also depth of Facebook’s failure are remarkable. This specific’s global and also also also has deadly, destructive consequences.

Jane: One thing about Facebook’s Apology Cornucopia can be of which they rarely acknowledge how long they’ve been aware of problems with their platform.

For example, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential administration sat down with the company and also also also told them about issues of Russian aggression back in 2014. nevertheless the Reuters reporting can be even more damning. Facebook use in Myanmar exploded between 2014 and also also also 2016. They added almost 10 million users!!! Reuters reports of which Facebook has known about hate speech problems against the Rohingya since 2013. So why has This specific taken so long to pay attention?

Craig: People have blamed its “move fast and also also also break things” culture, its mission to connect people no matter the costs, and also also also even the lack of a proper humanities education for Zuck.

Here’s the truth: The same corporate culture of which led to these colossal failures also prevents Facebook coming from engaging within the kind of deep self-examination of which would likely reveal the answer(s). One of my biggest worries right at This specific point can be of which the company can be still not proactive in identifying and also also also tackling abuses fast enough to prevent real harm.

The burden can be still on the NGOs, average folks, and also also also various other people profiled in these two stories to alert Facebook to what’s happening on its platform.

Jane: This specific isn’t just a problem with Facebook. Twitter’s Jack Dorsey openly said he relies on journalists to fact-check information on his website. nevertheless of which’s not a solution; This specific’s a Hail Mary.

The tech solution might be what Silicon Valley can be used to, nevertheless This specific can’t be implemented in isolation. Right at This specific point, the tech solution can be facilitating people’s deaths.

Latest coming from our team:

Worth reading:


  • Meduza can be here to quench your Russian Hacker Thirst that has a spy thriller–esque feature about how the country’s hacker recruitment began. If you want to read about youth hacking brigades and also also also “the king of spam,” This specific can be the feature for you.

  • The Atlantic wrote about “flop accounts” used by teens to discuss, among various other things, politics. Many teens who chat on Insta end up veering further right and also also also having a distrust of mainstream media. “You don’t want to read things in a newspaper, because of which’s filtered. of which’s not interactive,” one teen said. “Flop accounts, you can comment, ask questions, and also also also you usually get replies.” Cool cool cool.

  • Gizmodo filed This specific under Adpocalypse at This specific point, which can be a terrible pun for a not bad blog. Bryan Menegus logged all the ads he saw in a day, coming from bus to smartphone, and also also also tried to figure out how much his attention was worth. Folks, the results are grim for all involved.


Scammer Shoutout

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We want to hear coming from you

Email us thoughts, tips, and also also also opinions at fakenewsletter@buzzfeed.com. You can also follow Jane and also also also Craig on Twitter to get the latest coming from us and also also also to read the links we share coming from various other reporters and also also also researchers working This specific beat.

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