I can’t just stand by and watch Mark Zuckerberg destroy the internet.
Quincy Larson

A few points to this.

And right next to Zuckerberg’s post, there are two ads for fake news stories.

That’s because you are being profiled using data based on your browsing habits to be a consumer of fake news. If you were profiled to be a consumer of cupcakes you’d be seeing ads for cupcakes.

They are your extended family. Your high school classmates. And they’re being bathed in pathos and misinformation all day long.

They are being shown content that FB has identified they like to consume, based on browsing habits, shopping habits and the habits of their connections. If your friends and extended family get served fake news it’s because they like consuming that content on some level. It’s a similar situation to the nightly news. Crime can be the lowest it’s been for years, but every night you will see stories about violent crimes, and viewers will perceive that their city is getting less safe. People watch, ratings rise, and news programs share more news that draws ratings. If it isn’t shocking people wouldn’t watch as much.

The trending section is filled with ads and misinformation.

I guess that depends how you define misinformation. I never see misinformation the trending section, but maybe our definitions are different.

Finally, I agree. If you don’t want to be tracked opt out. You, probably more than most, know that opting out is tough if you want to leverage the benefits of modern society. Here are some of the things you’d have to do to opt out.

Stop using your mobile device because advertisers can track you where you go in the physical world (in a non-personally-identifiable-way). Data providers are getting to the point where we can estimate your path of travel on a day based on the credit card purchases you make.

Stop using your credit card so I can’t target ads towards you based on your aggregate financial profile. In that financial profile is household income data, spending habits, age of your home and other factors. Stop using your loyalty card at the grocery store so I can’t connect you to your recent purchase of Oreos, and later serve you an ad based on that information. Stop using a laptop so your browsing habits aren’t being tracked. Stop it with your cell phone provider that is sharing data about where you go in the physical world to technology companies.

You can live off the grid and not be tracked, but you lose a lot of the convenience of daily life.

Do I think Zuckerberg is destroying the internet? No. Does he have some responsibility to ensure around fake news? Yes. Also, I’m writing this point three months after you’ve published the post, and it’s clear that Facebook is taking a stance against fake news. Which, as a clearing for people to find information that’s a very tricky place to be. He is using Facebook’s power to censor content. Censorship, in this case through a form of curation, of any kind, in any meaningful way, is a delicate practice.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.