Facebook – A Major Source of Political Disinformation

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Facebook – A Major Source of Political Disinformation

Post by A440 » Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:40 pm

I know many people use Facebook. Personally, I use it to keep in touch with people I know in Europe only and suppress all news feeds, however Facebook has turned out to be extremely problematic in regards to spreading and amplifying conspiracy theory and political disinformation.

According to the NYU-based group, Cybersecurity For Democracy, far-right accounts known for spreading misinformation are not only thriving on Facebook, they're actually more successful than other kinds of accounts at getting likes, shares and other forms of user engagement:.
"It's almost twice as much engagement per follower among the sources that have a reputation for spreading misinformation," Edelson said. "So, clearly, that portion of the news ecosystem is behaving very differently."
The research team used CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned tool that measures engagement, to analyze more than 8 million posts from almost 3,000 news and information sources over a five-month period. Those sources were placed in one of five categories for partisanship — Far Right, Slightly Right, Center, Slightly Left, Far Left — using evaluations from Media Bias/Fact Check and NewsGuard.

Facebook disinformation chart.png
See: https://www.npr.org/2021/03/06/974394783/far-right-misinformation-is-thriving-on-facebook-a-new-study-shows-just-how-much

There is also a growing problem with the proliferation of postings of pseudoscience content as well. According to a recent article, "Facebook communities peddling COVID-19 misinformation have grown by 48 per cent: report", Facebook communities pushing misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines in Canada have grown by 48 per cent in the past six months.
See: https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/facebook-communities-peddling-covid-19-misinformation-have-grown-by-48-per-cent-report-1.5337387

Mind you, these two reports do not include past problems such as: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/technology/facebook-privacy.html
Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages.
This is ironic since Facebook News, sponsored by Facebook itself, has a pronounced left-bias and has a much higher rating for factual content though this quality is not reflected in the blatant disinformation promoted within the platform itself. See: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/facebook-news/

As researcher Laura Edelson of Cybersecurity for Democracy stated, "I think what's very clear is that Facebook has a misinformation problem. I think any system that attempts to promote the most engaging content, from what we call tell, will wind up promoting misinformation."

Please feel free to rate this site accordingly: https://www.mywot.com/scorecard/facebook.com
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