The recent Facebook platform outages brought light to claims of the company’s misdeeds and inefficiency to protect its users.
On Oct. 4, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp servers were down for about six hours. Millions of users refreshed their feeds to no avail as teams in Silicon Valley frantically looked for a solution.
Along with the app outages, Facebook also had to tackle yet another hearing down in Washington D.C. Being no stranger to court; Facebook had to face one of its biggest issues around all of its platforms.
Instead of helping prevent the spread of hate on their platforms, Mark Zuckerberg turns a blind eye. Far too many times groups and people are targeted and attacked on social media, as Facebook just watches and does nothing.
Facebook has turned into a soulless money monster, not caring about its young users even though they have the tools at their disposal to fix these issues.
Back in Washington, a Facebook whistleblower brought this case to court. Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, had this to say regarding the issue.
“The company’s leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer but won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people,” Haugen told [CNN/New York Times/LAT etc]
Although Facebook tried to shut down these claims by belittling Haugen quickly, her statements hit a blow to this corporate giant.
Although social media has now become a digital war ground for teens, it was not always this way. As Facebook got smarter, society got a lot meaner. Now, it is a common occurrence to see hate speech all across Facebook or Instagram. However, the company does close to nothing in order to stop it. I can go on Instagram right now, find a random post and write something hateful about it, and all I will get is a warning before my comment goes out for the world to see. This problem is even worse in other areas of the world, where Facebook has less interest. Time Magazine reports that in areas such as India, the hate speech tolerance in Facebook is a lot greater than in the United States and parts of Europe. Facebook blames this on the variety of languages spoken there, for the biggest entity on the internet does not have a simple code to detect hate speech in different languages.
The biggest victims of this toxic environment brewing on social media are teenagers. Many of us cannot go on with our day if we do not open our Instagram or Facebook, making us dependent on platforms that could care less about us. Common Sense reported that more than 40 percent of teenagers use social media to deal with mental and physical problems. Teens have become dangerously dependent on these apps, forcing them to maintain a vigilant eye on their servers; however, that is not the case. Posts and comments attacking people left and right should not be tolerated in this Silicon Valley juggernaut. Young minds are more susceptible to the words that cowards say, hiding behind a screen. Instead of worrying about what Wall Street has to say, Mark Zuckerberg should be focused on making his platforms a safe place for the world to interact.
All in all, these recent hearings brought much-needed attention to a problem that needs to be addressed immediately. Facebook already has algorithms that can detect about 80 percent of hate speech. Why not increase that percentage by placing more funds on their monitoring team? Why not emphasize protecting minorities? Facebook has the full capability to fix these issues, but it seems highly unlikely that they care about the users that make them billions.