, 9 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I want the disgraceful fake video of Speaker Pelosi to disappear. And this Facebook spokeswoman should be ashamed for refusing to answer @AC360's questions directly. But he also oversimplifies the challenge we face.
Anyone with a smartphone can alter photos and videos, with slo-mo, special effects and editing tricks, and countless people do -- for laughs, artistic effect, to create memes, etc. And sometimes to make politicians look stupid, like this one of Trump:
If we want Facebook to change, we need to tell it what rules to apply across the board - specially given the advent of "deep fake" videos that will look real, like this one of Obama:
Maybe the rule should prohibit doctored videos intended to influence political debate (if they can be distinguished from satire). But the rule can't be that Facebook must take down any post by its 2.38 billion users that is not "true."
Even more important: we keep talking about taking down fake, malicious content because it's a simple solution that us non-experts (as in, most journalists and politicians) can understand.
But there is a much bigger problem: the algorithms that have replaced human editors in deciding what news we see, and are designed to lead us to sensational content that reinforces our biases (so that we'll click on it more).
A constituent told me today that after the Pittsburgh synagogue shootings, he clicked a few times on the neo-Nazi "Daily Stormer" website, curious to see how those hateful people were talking about the crime. White nationalist videos then started popping up in his social media.
This is the feature of social media that is polarizing and radicalizing America. This is how fake content spreads, and brings crackpot conspiracy theories into the mainstream. It is also a fundamental part of these companies' business model.
So sure, we can keep telling Facebook, Google and Twitter to put out fires (by taking down fakes, banning racists, etc.). But what we really have to confront is that their product is flammable. I'd love to hear some solutions to that.
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