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Facebook Memos Reveal That The Social Network Willingly Propagates Harmful Content

A slew of memos from 2019 reveal that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg advocated for the platform's 2018 algorithm overhaul, despite being advised against it by many officials in the company.

To say that Facebook is a platform with hate speech rampant almost doesn't sound like hyperbole anymore. While incessant racists and misogynists don't little every single comment, there's always someone lurking around a post with an opinion that's much better left unsaid. Matters are only made worse when one considers what else the social network has helped facilitate. The platform was infamously accused of housing Russian bots. Hate groups are found rallying on the platform almost weekly. And, at the start of this year, Facebook ended up being an instrumental part for the planning of the US Capitol Riots.

What's worse is, if these recently leaked memos are to be believed, things could have been different, and maybe even a bit more wholesome. Memos between Mark Zuckerberg and employees at Facebook have been unearthed by the Wall Street Journal. These memos reveal that concerns about the sort of content that Facebook's algorithm promotes were already present. Discussions were held over the ramifications of content that was specifically geared to incite rage and arguments within comment sections and DMs. However, Zuckerberg apparently chose to ignore all of this and let the chips fall as they would.

The other major concern at hand is Instagram's algorithm. The memos reveal that officials were also aware of the sort of content that Facebook's sister platform promoted. More specifically, the main issue here is content that actively leads to the mental disruption of young girls. It's a fair concern to bring up as well. Young individuals are especially impressionable and easy to wound. Constant plastering of images and videos that promote unrealistic and even unhealthy body trends will only lead to such young ladies hating themselves and what they look like.

Yet again, concerns were left unheard and unanswered. But why? How could anyone possibly profit off of human misery and harm? The answer's an easy one, and has probably popped into everyone's head.

Engagement.

Engagement's the name of the game. With advertisements and third party promotions being so lucrative as options, the best way to increase post engagement is by promoting hate mongering content. It's what gets the most reactions, it's what incites people into checking out more and more posts. Frankly, it's a sickening use of the platform that Facebook has.

"But", I hear people already saying, "Facebook doesn't owe these people anything. It can profit however it wants." I apologize to break this news to any sensitive readers of ours, but this simply isn't true. Facebook is a platform that is almost entirely defined by its community. This is the community that propelled it into the social media superpower the company is today. Along with being that superpower, a set of responsibilities is inherited. You cannot promote your platform to young individuals, and actively harm their self image. And you certainly are irresponsible at best and shameless at worst for profiting from aggravating and inciting your community.


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