With 2.4 billion active users, Facebook has become a breeding ground for disinformation. Misleading or outright false allegations played an unignorable part of the assault on the 2016 election and a number of lawmakers say Facebook isn't doing enough to curtail fake news ahead of 2020.
Now a recent Washington Post report detailing Facebook's response to fake news pages after President Donald Trump's shocking victory in 2016 is raising even more concerns.
Craig Timberg reports that when discussing which and how many fake news pages to remove, the former Republican lobbyist in charge of Facebook's DC office—Joel Kaplan—said:
"We can't remove all of it because it will disproportionately affect conservatives...They don't believe it to be fake news."
Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told the Post in a statement:
"After 2016, we made massive investments in new teams and technology to make our products safer and to secure elections. People on both sides of the aisle continue to criticize us, but we remain committed to seeking outside perspectives and building a platform for all ideas."
Kaplan's concern that removing fake news would alienate Conservative Facebook users inadvertently said volumes about modern Republicans.
This headline tells you everything you need to know about the current state of the GOP. https://t.co/Jdp3f4Mgyf— Angry Staffer (@Angry Staffer)1582223340.0
Because fake news fuels Conservatism. https://t.co/UZoVEULi8b— Sean Grady (@Sean Grady)1582230161.0
Conservatives want to be misinformed? I don't understand. https://t.co/DqmWKBFqvH— _Black (@_Black)1582228770.0
A company that has so much control over how the world communicates, as @Facebook does, should not be so easily sway… https://t.co/sBw8pWYygf— Sleeping Giants (@Sleeping Giants)1582224083.0
Pretty sure I've been saying this for years. Political & Propaganda news $ is a drop in the bucket; FB $ comes fro… https://t.co/vSJEhBGQg6— Ben (@Ben)1582228798.0
This is outrageous. @Facebook has been catering to so called "conservatives" to the detriment of Americans. How abo… https://t.co/91b9VdkBfc— I am no man (@I am no man)1582229198.0
The implications of this observation are vivid and immediately apparent. Conservatives depend on misinformation to… https://t.co/qhMGpCFzTf— ndngenuity (@ndngenuity)1582228771.0
LOLOL so by removing actual fake news youd only be alienating the repubs? Wow what's that say about the repubs https://t.co/w8OLPMDhvG— Paiges Pussy Hat (@Paiges Pussy Hat)1582225146.0
This does not look good at all.