October 21, 2021 - 7:28 am

Veracity At Crossroad

Once again Facebook is in news for its revelations point to contradictions between social media as business model and public good by whistle blower Frances Haugen. The leak documents have been provided to the Wall Street Journal as well as US government agencies about its consciously exploitations, the harm its applications cause  and data they tweak for the interest of the profit of the business.

                                             This is not the first time that Facebook has come into controversy; earlier in 2018 that Cambridge Analytica scandal shook the world with its role in manipulating the US presidential elections. Recent controversy is supposed to be the biggest controversy of Facebook of the time and repleted with many allegations. According to its report, Facebook AI reads users' behaviour and suggest videos and news according to their search. The idea behind this is to engage users till longer durations. Facebook's much touted "safeguards" against hate speech incitement to violence as well as content harmful to mental wellbeing of young people are, at best, window dressing. The company is alleged to have tweaked its algorithm and give lower priority to polarizing political content and its data so collected is eventually monetized. The scale of controversy impacted the launch of Instagram kids too. 

                                        Facebook has already been running under intense scrutiny across several countries including India over the outsized reach and influence it has over people. Allegation of its abuse of dominant position, misuse of user data and the speed of the misinformation on its platform. However, the Facebook claims to have rolled out major changes to its News Feed algorithm but nothing concrete could happen. The contradiction and repeated controversy can be tackled by robust regulatory mechanism and in the longer run  ethical upgradation in technology will be the need of the time to get rid of such problems