Facebook has long been under intense criticism for its manipulative role in the US and other countries’ political matters especially their elections is now consulting surreptitiously to think-tanks to form a commission to advise it on global election-related matters, that would allow this social network increased political influence with political ads and election-related misinformation.
Facebook, a dangerous monopoly, created by a long series of anti-competitive acquisitions and mergers, answerable to no one and a threat to world peace and social cohesion began as a place for small-group discussions and friends’ gossip, has become a narrow-casting service feeding a lot of dangerous lies from a whole slew of political matters to all sorts of extremism. Rather than having the corporate fortitude to grab and delay political misinformation, bigotry, and medical disinformation pages that are doing severe damage to almost every nation’s social and political fabric, it now looking forward openly and with impunity to form an election commission to manipulate elections around the globe. Facebook may earn oodles of cash by this move saying yes to richer parties and their voters, and no the otherwise.
This is a bizarre attempt by Facebook to legitimize its social influence and market power. An “independent” commission – privately appointed and remunerated by the company – will determine what content is acceptable. No institution should be allowed to concentrate so much power of influence, above all on political matters. It is tantamount to as if arsonist is said to consider establishing a fire safety consortium.
Social media has eroded the cohesion of the nations, and Facebook is a major source of the destruction. It is crystal clear that something must be done. Unfortunately, Facebook and other social media companies have shown they cannot be trusted to monitor themselves. Free speech has its pros and cons. It is not all sunshine and rainbows.
Sadly, there are far too many academics who are eager to bolster their resumes by accepting a position on Facebook’s Election Commission. Today, as more PhDs continue to be churned out in greater numbers than ever before, any corporation can find an academic, typically without tenure, who will say whatever they want just to have a little resume filler. Academics and policy experts should unanimously say, no thank you, we will not help legitimize this maleficent organization.
There’s nothing thoughtful or well-meaning about Facebook. It needs to stay out of politics. It’s just a databank for advertising and fake news; it should be regulated as it’s dangerous. Or better, don’t regulate it. Turn it off. Any good it does – which I have seen – is not worth the evil it spreads.
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