Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.
This fall’s election promises to be chaotic, nerve-wracking, and potentially calamitous. Lies will be flying everywhere, and Facebook will distribute many of them.
And in response, Facebook plans to do … not that much.
You may be confused about this if you saw recent headlines about Facebook’s election actions, like the ones that came out this morning: “Facebook Moves to Limit Election Chaos in November,” said the New York Times. Earlier this week, Axios announced that Mark Zuckerberg is spending $300 million of his own money to help states fix their “election infrastructure.”
It’s not that these things aren’t true. It’s just that they won’t do anything to stop the misinformation and lies that are going to put the election at risk to begin with. And that’s because Facebook — like the other big social media platforms — is built in a way that lets bad actors spread lies easily, and makes it almost impossible to rein them in. The bug is the feature.