Facebook ‘whistleblower’ blows off the real scandal

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Cease the presses: Fb seeks to maximise earnings. 

Frances Haugen, a former Fb worker, appeared on “60 Minutes” the place she slammed Fb, a publicly owned company, for “optimizing for content material that will get engagement.” In different phrases, FB tries to maintain customers on its platform so long as attainable to earn a living, one thing {that a} publicly held firm has a fiduciary obligation to shareholders to do.

“Whistleblower” Haugen labored at Fb headquarters in what the corporate known as Civic Integrity, which, in keeping with “60 Minutes,” offers with “dangers to elections, together with misinformation.” There she discovered that the content material Fb tailors for customers seeks to set off feelings, together with anger in order that the person spends as a lot time as attainable on the location.

Think about the next “bombshell” trade:

“60 Minutes”: “The (Fb) algorithm picks from these choices based mostly on the type of content material you’ve engaged with probably the most previously.”

Haugen: “And one of many penalties of how Fb is choosing out that content material right now is it’s optimizing for content material that will get engagement, a response, however its personal analysis is exhibiting that content material that’s hateful, that’s divisive, that’s polarizing, it’s simpler to encourage folks to anger than it’s to different feelings. … Fb has realized that if they alter the algorithm to be safer, folks will spend much less time on the location, they’ll click on on much less advertisements, they’ll make much less cash.”

How is that this completely different from every other medium, whether or not tv, cable tv, radio, discuss radio, newspapers, tabloids or different media? Recall the adage about newspapers: “If it bleeds it leads.” As a chat radio host for almost 30 years, I do know that scores consider not simply how many individuals pay attention, however for the way lengthy they pay attention. It’s a serious a part of the system that determines the recognition of any given present. The extra standard the present, the extra advertisers it attracts. The extra advertisers a present attracts, the extra advertisers pay. 

In brief, Fb finds that getting folks riled up makes them spend extra time getting riled up, the very methodology that “60 Minutes” pursues for scores. Certainly, “60 Minutes” closely promoted this supposed “bombshell” interview with the whistleblower.

The true scandal, not even hinted at by Haugen or “60 Minutes,” is the apparent suppression of conservative content material by Fb, Twitter, and the left-wing “news” media.

The therapy of former President Donald Trump stands out as probably the most blatant instance. Days earlier than the 2020 election, Twitter banned the New York Put up from posting its personal doubtlessly election-changing expose about Hunter Biden and that his father Joe, regardless of his denials, clearly knew about his son’s involvement within the Ukraine power firm.

And Fb banned Trump after the Jan. 6 “rebellion” for allegedly spreading the “Huge Lie” concerning the 2020 election.

By no means thoughts that Hillary Clinton repeatedly known as the 2016 election “stolen” and Trump “illegitimate.” A number of folks engaged in avenue violence in lots of cities when Trump received elected and greater than 200 protesters had been arrested when Trump was inaugurated. Two-thirds of Democrats, in keeping with a March 2018 YouGov ballot, falsely imagine Russia “tampered with vote tallies” within the 2016 election. 

True, in keeping with a Quinnipiac College ballot early this 12 months, 76% of self-identified Republicans imagine there was “widespread fraud within the 2020 election.” However, in keeping with a 2018 Gallup ballot, 78% of Democrats believed Russians not solely “interfered” in 2016, however “modified the result” of that election. So, extra Democrats contemplate the 2016 election “stolen” than Republicans who really feel likewise about 2020. Why hasn’t Fb banned Clinton?

Backside line, Haugen desires extra, not much less suppression of content material that she considers “hateful” and “polarizing.” However who decides? Would that be the identical individuals who name Jan. 6 an “rebellion” and who completely banned Trump, however not Hillary Clinton, for selling the Huge Lie?

Larry Elder is a bestselling creator and nationally syndicated radio discuss present host. His newest ebook, “The New Trump Normal,” is out there in paperback from and for Nook, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay. To search out out extra about Larry Elder, or change into an “Elderado,” go to Observe Larry on Twitter @LarryElder. To learn options by different Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, go to the Creators Syndicate web site at



Larry Elder
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