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LARRY ELDER: Facebook ‘Whistleblower’ Blows Off the Real Scandal

Cease the presses: Fb seeks to maximise income.

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 generate income, 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 referred to as Civic Integrity, which, based on “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 consumer spends as a lot time as attainable on the location.

Take into account the next “bombshell” trade:

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

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

How is that this totally different from some other medium, whether or not tv, cable tv, radio, speak 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 rankings consider not simply how many individuals hear, however for a way lengthy they hear. It’s a serious a part of the formulation that determines the recognition of any given present. The extra fashionable the present, the extra advertisers it attracts. The extra advertisers a present attracts, the extra advertisers pay.

Briefly, Fb finds that getting individuals riled up makes them spend extra time getting riled up, the very technique that “60 Minutes” pursues for rankings. Certainly, “60 Minutes” closely promoted this supposed “bombshell” interview with the whistleblower.

The actual 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 “information” media.

The remedy 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 “Large Lie” concerning the 2020 election.

By no means thoughts that Hillary Clinton repeatedly referred to as the 2016 election “stolen” and Trump “illegitimate.” A number of individuals engaged in avenue violence in lots of cities when Trump obtained elected and greater than 200 protesters had been arrested when Trump was inaugurated. Two-thirds of Democrats, based on a March 2018 YouGov ballot, falsely consider Russia “tampered with vote tallies” within the 2016 election.
True, based on a Quinnipiac College ballot early this 12 months, 76% of self-identified Republicans consider there was “widespread fraud within the 2020 election.” However, based on 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 needs 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 Large Lie?

Larry Elder is a bestselling writer and nationally syndicated radio speak present host. His newest guide, “The New Trump Customary,” is out there in paperback from Amazon.com and for Nook, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay. To seek out out extra about Larry Elder, or change into an “Elderado,” go to www.LarryElder.com. Observe Larry on Twitter @LarryElder. To learn options by different Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, go to the Creators Syndicate web site at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2021 LAURENCE A. ELDER
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