Difficult Times for Facebook

Three months ago, Mark Zuckerberg, who is the founder of Facebook had an opportunity of addressing some of the most influential people on Facebook at a conference in Chicago. The importance of this gathering for the 33-year-old executive could not be understated. He got a rare opportunity to market one of his company’s product which was Facebook Groups. This is a product by the social media giant that has made it possible to join people who share the same interest. The groups make it possible to discuss, debate and even share some important material that is of interest. During the address, Mark Zuckerberg said that he believed that these groups held the future for the company. According to Mark Zuckerberg, the main goal why he created the company was to connect people around the world. He said that he still believed in these goals. However, in the recent days, there are some concerns inside the company that the company is doing quite the opposite of its mission. For instance, the company has managed to touch on some hot topics that are quite good at dividing people. Some of these hot buttons that the social media giant is being accused of using to divide people include sexuality, gender as well as race. These are the hot issues that were utilized by Russian officials in 2016 to divide Americans during the presidential elections.

This debate comes at a crucial time as Facebook employees continue to ask themselves how they should handle the organic content that is dividing people. This information was revealed by people who have worked for the company as well as some who are still working with the company. Due to non-disclosure agreements, these people only spoke on the condition of anonymity. There is one group that believes in the power of free speech. As a result, they don’t see it as the business of the company to filter what is referred as hate speech. The rest feel that something should be done about the issue. An associate professor who teaches at the University of Carolina Chapel Hill says that the company has developed an algorithm that prioritizes newsfeed more than ads. While the company wishes to mind its own business, the professor says that it’s worried about what a public backlash can do to its reputation. The company will appear next week before several House Committees to explain its involvement in dividing Americans last year.

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Dil Bole Oberoi