Who’s Really To Blame For Misinformation Online?

DM

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and Google’s Sundar Pichai testified last week before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the problem of disinformation and misinformation online, issues that have undoubtedly contributed to the polarization we see in America today. And there are plenty of missteps the three might answer for. What the committee failed to address was perhaps a greater source of polarization and division in America – themselves. It’s tempting to flatten this issue and focus exclusively on how social media contributes to the problem. But to do so overshadows the many factors, like toxic political rhetoric, that have helped create the divisive tone we see in our nation today. There are, of course, plenty of things to criticize about social media companies. While Facebook and Twitter are private companies free to make their own decisions about what speech they want to host on their platforms, inconsistency and lack of transparency in many of their individual decisions doesn’t inspire consumer confidence.

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