Facebook: A Super Example of a Leader with Integrity, Forthrightness, and Ethics

May 25, 2020

This is amazing. After years of Congress criticizing Facebook for its disappointing policies on false information, one representative is pointing to the social media platform as an example to others. CNBC reports, “Schiff to Google and Twitter: Please Be More Like Facebook When It Comes to Coronavirus Misinformation.” After the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal, tolerating Russian-made falsehoods during the 2016 presidential election, and consistently refusing to curb untrue political ads, what did Facebook do to earn this praise now? Reporter Joshua Roberts writes:

“Facebook said earlier this month that it would notify users if they had engaged with a post that had been removed for including misinformation about Covid-19 in violation of its policies. The social media company will also direct users to myths debunked by the World Health Organization. That marked a major step for Facebook, which has wrung its hands over other forms of misinformation, most notably in political ads. But even while it has refused to fact-check or remove most political ads that contain false information, Facebook said it would remove any that contain misinformation about the coronavirus. Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee that investigated Russian meddling in the 2016 election, asked the chief executives of Google, YouTube and Twitter to consider a similar policy to Facebook’s in letters sent Wednesday. ‘While taking down harmful misinformation is a crucial step, mitigating the harms from false content that is removed requires also ensuring that those users who accessed it while it was available have as high a likelihood of possible of viewing the facts as well,’ Schiff wrote to the CEOs.”

Good point. While both Google’s YouTube and Twitter have also been removing misinformation on Covid-19, they have not agreed to notify anyone who viewed the falsehoods before they were taken down. Yes, a leader among leaders.

Cynthia Murrell, May 25, 2020

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