Zuckerberg’s not the problem. We are.
This started as a Facebook comment on a NY Times Op-Ed article, but grew several paragraphs long, so I took it to Medium. Go figure, Internet.
While the Op-Ed article makes several good arguments, I would avoid blaming everything on easy targets like Zuckerberg. Yes, firing Facebook’s news editors was a bad idea. Yes, algorithmic flaws contribute to bad feeds, and they need improvement. However, shouting at the gods might result in unwanted sacrifices.
My concern isn’t CEOs or algorithms. It’s the users. Fake news proliferated across feeds because people didn’t think for themselves or combat the garbage. We shrugged it off. Now we know the consequences.
I’m glad to see Google and Facebook are taking steps to ban advertising on fake news sites. Cutting off money should work marvelously, but won’t be a panacea.
We need to self-regulate our online communities, hopefully with empathy and tact. It’s a modern responsibility and we can’t delegate it.
Zuckerberg, I’ve told Facebook to stop showing me those vinyl friendship anniversary posts a dozen times. Can you do something about that?