How Trump Changed Facebook – Vox

How Trump Changed Facebook – Vox

At one point, Facebook’s relationship with politicians was relatively uncontroversial.

But after the 2016 US election, everything changed.

Early in the campaign, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump tested the limits of Facebook’s rules against hate speech, at the same time that the company became a vehicle for political exploitation by foreign actors.

Facebook’s first test: dealing with Trump’s 2015 Facebook post calling for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the US. While some saw a strong argument within the company that Trump’s comments violated Facebook’s rules against religious hate speech, the company decided to keep the post. Until then, most Facebook employees had never before grappled with the possibility that their platform could be used to fuel such division by a political candidate for the highest office.

“What do you do when a leading candidate for president attacks… on [one of the] the greatest religion[s] in the world?” former Facebook employee and Democratic lobbyist Crystal Patterson told us.

And Facebook didn’t just have to worry about national politicians, but also foreign adversaries. Despite CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s initial post-election comments being dismissive “pretty crazy idea” and fake news The platform could have influenced the elections, it soon became clear that it was propaganda from Russian Facebook accounts reached millions of American voters — provoking an unprecedented backlash and forcing the company to reckon with its culpability in influencing global politics.

Over time, Zuckerberg would acknowledge Facebook’s role as what did he call it The “fifth estate” — an entity as powerful as the government and the media in shaping the public agenda — while at the same time trying to minimize the role of the corporation in dictating the acceptable terms of political speech.

In order to relieve the burden of political responsibility in the future, Facebook formed Supervisory Board In 2018, a Supreme Court-like body it created to weigh in on controversial content decisions — including how to handle Trump’s bill. But the board is new and we’re still learning how much power it has over Facebook. How much responsibility does Facebook still have to dictate the terms of its platform? And can the board go far enough to change the social media platform basic engine: its recommendation algorithms?

We explore these questions about Facebook’s role in moderating political speech in our fourth episode Land of the Giants, Vox Media Podcast Network’s award-winning narrative podcast series about the most influential technology companies of our time. This season, Recode and The Verge teamed up over seven episodes to tell the story of Facebook’s journey to becoming Meta, including interviews with current and former executives.

Listen to the fourth episode Land of the Giants: The Facebook/Meta Disruptionand watch the first two episodes Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotifyor wherever you get your podcasts.

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