The Facebook Files Reveal Direct Knowledge of Harmful Policies and Practices

The Wall Street Journal has begun a series called The Facebook Files based on internal emails and files the outlet obtained. While Facebook claimed to be promoting “meaningful social interactions” (MSI) by demoting quality journalism it claimed was divisive, it was actually promoting misinformation. Documents show that Facebook employees warned in internal memos that the algorithmic change was not increasing MSI, instead “misinformation, toxicity, and violent content [were] inordinately prevalent among re-shares.” Internal reports even expressed concern about the “long term effects on democracy.” Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said Facebook’s ranking changes are not to blame for “the world’s divisions” and said divisions have “been growing for many decades, long before platforms like Facebook even existed.”

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