Facebook is bad for democracy. Facebook is bad for democracy. Once more, for the people in the back: Facebook is really, really bad for democracy.
If you’ve been paying attention at all over the last year, this is old news. But apparently for the folks of Zuck & Co., this is a fresh, hot, juicy take. On Monday, Facebook published the latest addition to its hilariously named Hard Questions series, which asked “What Effect Does Social Media Have on Democracy?”
Turns out the answer is: Not Exactly A Great One.
The roughly 2,000 word post by Facebook product manager Samidh Chakrabarti, explores the social network’s complicated relationship with civil society. Chakrabarti cites Facebook’s voting initiatives and the “critical role” social media played in the Arab Spring back in 2011 as positives, and, you know, basically everything else that has happened in the last seven years — foreign interference in elections, the fake news crisis, echo chambers, political harassment, general harassment, unequal representation — as negatives.
Chakrabarti also lists the fact that “two-thirds of US adults consume at least some of their news on social media” as a positive, but given Facebook’s general track record as a news source, that, uh, seems like a bit of a stretch...