Why Facebook Can’t Fix Itself | The New Yorker

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/10/19/why-facebook-cant-fix-itself

In retrospect, it seems that the company’s strategy has never been to manage the problem of dangerous content, but rather to manage the public’s perception of the problem. In Clegg’s recent blog post, he wrote that Facebook takes a “zero tolerance approach” to hate speech, but that, “with so much content posted every day, rooting out the hate is like looking for a needle in a haystack.” This metaphor casts Zuckerberg as a hapless victim of fate: day after day, through no fault of his own, his haystack ends up mysteriously full of needles. A more honest metaphor would posit a powerful set of magnets at the center of the haystack—Facebook’s algorithms, which attract and elevate whatever content is most highly charged. If there are needles anywhere nearby—and, on the Internet, there always are—the magnets will pull them in. Remove as many as you want today; more will reappear tomorrow. This is how the system is designed to work.

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