UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Facebook played a role in getting Donald Trump to the White House who knew how to make the most of social media tools, as a company official admitted.
In his view, this does not mean that the site’s operating rules must be radically changed.
In a long message devoted to his peers, Andrew Bosworth asked, “Is Facebook responsible for Donald Trump’s election?”
“I think the answer is yes, but not for the reasons that everyone thinks of,” he replied in a text entitled “Reflections for 2020” first published by the “New York Times” and then its author.
The official, who is considered to be a circle of close advisers to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, added that the American president “was not elected because of the wrong Russian information or the Cambridge Analytica company. He was elected because he launched the best advertising campaign that I saw on the Internet. No one else.”
The company has come under heavy criticism for not stopping campaigns to spread wrong information during the 2016 presidential election. As the American presidential election in 2020 approaches, the group has redoubled its efforts to tackle attempts to rig on various platforms.
Facebook refuses to follow the example of Twitter, which announced in October that it will reject any propaganda for political purposes anywhere in the world.
In the name of freedom of expression, Zuckerberg regularly defends posting political messages on his site, even if they involve lies.
For its part, Google adopted the search engine, intermediate stance to continue to allow the publication of political propaganda, but it tightened the rules prohibiting the publication of false messages (such as the wrong date for the ballot) or prevent the targeting of voters.
– Lure –
Donald Trump’s campaign itself did not resort to “spreading wrong information or deception” in 2016, said Bosworth. “They only used the tools that we put at their disposal to show the appropriate content for the right group of people,” he declared.
He explained that since the social media site did not change its policy in terms of propaganda for political purposes with the approaching electoral 2020 eligibility, “the result may be the same”, stressing that he personally supports the Democrats strongly.
“Whatever the process of using the tools at our disposal to change the outcome is tempting, I am convinced that we should never do that,” the official added.
“This does not mean that there are no limits,” he said, referring, for example, to incitement to violence.
He declared, “But if we change the result (of voting) without really convincing the popular base then we will get nothing but false democracy. And if we put restrictions on the information that people get and what they can say then democracy is completely absent.”
With his message, which was supposed to remain internal, Bosworth says he wants to “start discussions” about criticism from the press regularly.
He acknowledged that the group had not moved quickly enough to address data security problems, disseminate wrong information and external interventions, and that it could take further steps on the growing political polarization of site users and the transparency of its algorithm software operation.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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