Last month, some Facebook employees used a company poll to ask Zuckerberg whether the company should try “to help prevent President Trump in 2017.”
Facebook has toyed with skewing news in the past. During the 2012 presidential election, Facebook secretly tampered with 1.9 million user’s news feeds. The company also tampered with news feeds in 2010 during a 61-million-person experiment to see how Facebook could impact the real-world voting behavior of millions of people.
In 2012, Facebook also deliberately experimented on its users’ emotions. The company, again, secretly tampered with the news feeds of 700,000 people and concluded that Facebook can basically make you feel whatever it wants you to.
I worry about the absolute social media power that Facebook has, but FB still drives more traffic to this site than any other medium … by a lot.
Update, Glenn Reynolds chimes in: AN ORGANIZATION THIS POWERFUL, ALREADY TALKING ABOUT INTERFERING IN ELECTIONS, OBVIOUSLY NEEDS TO BE REGULATED. PERHAPS SOME SORT OF . . . FAIRNESS DOCTRINE IS CALLED FOR. Internal poll at Facebook: “What responsibility does Facebook have to help prevent President Trump in 2017?” “Note that it’s a question about asking a question, not statement that there is a responsibility to stop Trump, but it’s significant that the question was posed that way — what responsibility is there. For one thing, there’s an unexamined premise that everyone already shares a political position — Trump shouldn’t win — and that speaks of a lack of political diversity and pressure on dissenters within the organization to keep silent. For another thing, it omits any thought of a counter-responsibility to keep neutral politically, the idea that the highest duty is to the freedom of speech of those who use Facebook.”