Recently Facebook has been involved in one of the biggest scandals the company has experienced since its launch in 2004.
Third parties such as Cambridge Analytica were able to gain access to millions of users’ data to sway the 2016 American presidential election and the 2016 Brexit vote by bombarding them with propaganda.
In addition to the circulation of “fake news” online, social media has been criticised for being irresponsible and infringing on the privacy of their users but even though the social platform was launched for friends, families and strangers to follow what you are doing.
However, differentiating what is real or fake online is difficult especially when it has a large following.
An example is a Black Lives Matter page that has 700,000 followers is actually a fake page for over a year according to CNN. This page has more followers than the official page and is controlled by a white middle-aged Australian.
This brings about a serious question of the integrity of Facebook and elections because if fake articles can sway the number of voters then the whole system needs to be evaluated.
My own opinion of the matter is people have high expectations of the social media platform but at the end of the day, it’s for social purposes not propagating the news or political agendas.
Traditional means of news like newspapers and news channels provide their perspective on the matter either through portraying their opinion on the issue or focussing more on one issue than the other.
For instance, Fox News represents the right wing conservative branch of American politics, therefore, favour positive news surrounding the Trump Presidency while
Russia Today is not critical towards the Russian government.
Hence, no matter how objective a news outlet can be, there is always a hint of bias.
Photo by William Iven on Unsplash
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