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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

What Is Facebook?


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user with smartphone and social sharing icons popping out from the screen

Social media has plenty of benefits, and that's why it's frustrating Facebook wants us to think of its platform as a neutral utility. There are equal and perhaps more powerful mechanisms at play tearing societies apart, sowing division, and spreading misinformation.

It's bewildering that Facebook spends so much time trying to convince us social media is a net positive, treating it like a foregone conclusion instead of something deserving of rigorous scrutiny.

Is Facebook a net positive on the world? Or an ad empire that either can't or won't acknowledge the totality of its effects on society? Facebook either doesn't know or doesn't want to know the answer. And it's certainly not telling us.

From Protocol
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Comments


Robert Wilkens

For some, facebook is a photo album with captions. Peolle change computers but their facebook collection is useful with "5 years ago today" reminders.

But the machine learning and a.i. is what needs to go. Seems it puts people with others of similar interest and no one disagrees and no matter the side, people think everyone thinks like them. That is horrific.


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