This week the Wall Street Journal unveiled “The Facebook Files” – an investigative series based on leaked internal Facebook materials that offer an unvarnished look at how the social media giant sees its platform and its impact on society. A central theme of the reporting is the degree to which Facebook’s own research is at odds with its public statements, and that internally it has recognized the harms the platform causes for society even while publicly touting its benefits.
The Journal’s reporting raises myriad concerns over the state of social platforms generally today, from Instagram’s toxic influence on teenage girls to the impact of algorithmic changes on political discourse to how Facebook secretly shields influential users from its content moderation rules.
Facebook announced a grant program Thursday to fund fact-checking groups combating the spread of “climate misinformation.”
The program is designed to provide Facebook users with accurate and reliable information on topics related to climate change, such as sea levels and global warming, Facebook announced. The company said it launched the initiative partly in response to an August report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that highlighted the negative impact humans have on the environment.
After months of aggressively censoring what it called “COVID-19 misinformation,” Facebook recently announced that it would no longer block user posts claiming that the coronavirus was “man-made” or “manufactured.” That’s because those posts, which typically referenced the work of scientists who supported the idea of a possible coronavirus “lab leak” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, now appear to have been credible.
This entire episode should be extremely embarrassing for Facebook, a company so confident it has cornered the market on “truth” that it has made it their prerogative to “fact-check” individual user posts, banning anything that fails to comport with Silicon Valley’s extreme left-wing view of reality. Last year, Facebook banned an ad from the American Principles Project PAC claiming Joe Biden and the Democrats would destroy girls’ sports by supporting policies that allowed boys who identify as transgender to compete against girls.
Facebook said the ad was “missing context,” and so our PAC wasn’t allowed to communicate with voters. On Joe Biden’s first day as president, he signed an executive order specifically allowing these boys to compete in girls’ sports.