Does Facebook make the world better or worse? | The Tylt
Does Facebook make the world better or worse?
Facebook's core problem lies with how it makes money—it leverages the connections it helps people make and uses them to sell ads. It allows for microtargeting—the pitch it gives to advertisers is that it can efficiently use the money to zero in on exactly who the advertisers want to target. This ability has allowed for bad actors to manipulate the ads system to do things like sell products on the idea of a looming civil war, or advertise jobs but only to certain kinds of people.
However, its ads problem is one of many, many problems. Mark Zuckerberg has apparently directly consulted with President Trump on policy—they infamously allowed Trump's threatening statement on George Floyd protests to stay up while Twitter did not. Here's a small sampling of other issues Facebook has been called out for.
Facebook argues that its products bring a great amount of value to the world. Facebook enables people to make connections in big ways and small. Here's Nick Clegg, VP of Global Affairs and Communications for Facebook, and former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom defends Facebook as a force for good in the world.
Look at what happened when the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Billions of people used Facebook to stay connected when they were physically apart. Grandparents and grandchildren, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors. And more than that, people came together to help each other. Thousands and thousands of local groups formed — millions of people came together — in order to organize to help the most vulnerable in their communities. Others, to celebrate and support our healthcare workers. And when businesses had to close their doors to the public, for many Facebook was their lifeline. More than 160 million businesses use Facebook’s free tools to reach customers, and many used these tools to help them keep their businesses afloat when their doors were closed to the public — saving people’s jobs and livelihoods.
Importantly, Facebook helped people to get accurate, authoritative health information. We directed more than 2 billion people on Facebook and Instagram to information from the World Health Organization and other public health authorities, with more than 350 million people clicking through.