Rappler Talk: Peter Pomerantsev on Facebook, truth, and the crisis of democracy
MANILA, Philippines – Facebook shares plunged by around 21% or almost $120 billion last week, the largest single drop in Wall Street history. It's another setback for the social media giant, which has faced mounting pressure to rid its pages of false information and propaganda.
After the historic Wall Street plunge, Britain's House of Commons select committee on digital, culture, media, and sport published what may be the most comprehensive global look at the weaponization of the internet.
The committee chair, Damian Collins, slammed "Facebook's complete lack of moral responsibility" and "moral leadership."
He said, "We are facing nothing less than a crisis in our democracy based on the systemic manipulation of data to support the relentless targeting of citizens, without their consent, by campaigns of disinformation and messages of hate."
This manipulation of data has been evident in the Philippines and across the globe.
Part 1: Propaganda War: Weaponizing the internet: Paid trolls, fallacious reasoning, leaps in logic, poisoning the well – these are only some of the propaganda techniques that have helped shift public opinion on key issues
Part 2: How Facebook algorithms impact democracy: Its algorithms decide what you see. And they don't distinguish fact from fiction.
Part 3: Fake accounts, manufactured reality on social media: Suspicious and fake Facebook accounts share common practices, forming a nest that spreads lies and propaganda
Collins also noted that it's alarming "just how many connections take you back to Russia."
"At every step of the way. There's never been a point where we've thought, 'Oh, it's not as bad as we feared.' The connections just seem to deepen and become more significant," he said in the report.
On Monday, July 30, Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa talks to Peter Pomerantsev about Facebook, truth, and the crisis of democracy.
Pomerantsev is a visiting senior fellow at the Institute of Global Affairs at the London School of Economics, an author, and TV producer. He specializes in propaganda and media development, and has testified on the challenges of the information war to the US House foreign affairs committee, US Senate foreign relations committee, and the UK Parliament defense select committee. – Rappler.com
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