Digital Accountability Symposium: Weapons of Mass Media–Facebook News and a Call to Accountability
For anyone concerned about the weaponization of social media to further atrocities, the dangers of Facebook’s new feature Facebook News are unprecedented, writes Shannon Raj Singh. While social media has been weaponised before, Facebook News carries the potential to be a weapon with particularly acute capabilities and range. Not only is Facebook amplifying dangerous content posted by others, but its “curation team” is making fundamental decisions about what news has enough “integrity” to warrant being hand-selected and highlighted for hundreds of millions of people. When these articles are given the extraordinary amplification inherent to Facebook, and are specifically targeted to users receptive to its message, they could play a pivotal role in fuelling atrocities.