This Study Shows the Political Risks of Facebook Blocking News

After Canada ordered Facebook to start paying news organizations if their news was posted onto the platform, the Meta owned social media juggernaut elected to stop showing news to Canadian users entirely. As a result of the fact that this is the case, a right wing meme page by the name of Canada Proud ended up receiving an influx of new users. According to the owner of the page, engagement is at an all time high, and this highlights just one of the many risks associated with a news ban.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that Australia is going to be the next country to mandate such rules. Such a thing might be dangerous because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up leading to Facebook blocking news access on its platform to even more people than might have been the case otherwise.

Two studies that were revealed by Reuters showed that the lack of official news sources on Facebook could lead to detrimental changes in the manner in which the platform ends up getting used. The founding director of the McGill Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy, Taylor Owen, was the author of one of these studies, and he has stated that instead of news, people are consuming memes. This can lead to the spread of misinformation as well as result in an increased amount of political polarization with all things having been considered and taken into account.
At this current point in time, anyone that shares news on Facebook in Canada will see a box stating that due to Canadian legislation, this content can no longer be shared. With the state of California and the UK also set to pass similar measures, only time will tell whether or not Facebook will be able to stop misinformation. A spokesman for the company has said that certain internal measures are being taken, but they have failed thus far and may not be able to stem the rapid spread of fake news.

Image: DIW-AIgen

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