Head of Instagram and former Facebook executive, Adam Mosseri, came public admitting that the social media giant has a bias and is “not neutral.”
“We’re not neutral,” Mosseri said of Facebook, which owns Instagram. “No platform is neutral, we all have values and those values influence the decisions we make.
“We try and be apolitical,”Mosseri added, “but that’s increasingly difficult, particularly in the US where people are more and more polarized.”
Mosseri was responding to a comment made about Facebook’s announcement that it is tapping Roy Austin, who formerly served the Obama administration, as Facebook’s first vice president for civil rights.
“Roy Austin Jr. has been named vice president of civil rights with the mandate to oversee Facebook’s accountability on racial hatred and discrimination on its platform,” NPR reported. “He’s slated to start Jan. 19.”
Tech writer Will Oremus responded to this saying: “This feels like the kind of move that Facebook could have made 5+ years ago if it hadn’t been so intent at the time on portraying itself as a neutral platform and promoting online connection as an absolute good.”
We’re not neutral. No platform is neutral, we all have values and those values influence the decisions we make. We try and be apolitical, but that’s increasingly difficult, particularly in the US where people are more and more polarized.
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) January 11, 2021
Mosseri’s comments came after several social media platforms were accused of “coordinated censorship” for banning President Donald Trump, the 45th sitting US President from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Tech companies Apple, Google, and Amazon also booted out Parler, conservatives’ alternative to Twitter, for allegedly failing to moderate “violent content.”
Snapchat, Shopify and gaming platform Twitch also deplatformed the US president.
Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said Monday that the President’s account “will be suspended until at least the inauguration and perhaps longer,” according to a report by The Guardian. “Sandberg, speaking to Reuters, said the company has no plans to lift its block on Trump’s accounts and that she was ‘glad’ that Facebook had taken the action.”
“This shows the president is not above the policies we have,” said added.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said on January 8 the President is being banned “due to risks” following the Capitol Hill chaos last week — the first time in history that a political leader is banned from a social media platform. It also escalated the already deepening conflict between the left-leaning Silicon Valley firms and Trump administration.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg said. “Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
Following President Trump’s ban, Facebook stocks tumbled and lost US$34 billion in its market cap as the move drove investors out of the social media company.
Meanwhile, Tesla CEO and world’s richest man, Elon Musk, appeared to blame Facebook for the Capitol Hill breach suggesting that its actions had a ‘domino’ effect.
Musk slams Facebook
Musk, who has long been a rival of Zuckerberg, tweeted: “This is called the domino effect” after the Capitol building chaos on January 6 where he attached a picture of dominoes, with the first domino labeled “a website to rate women on campus” and the final piece of domino made as a reference to the protesters in the US capital.
This is called the domino effect pic.twitter.com/qpbEW54RvM
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
He followed up with a tweet criticizing Facebook’s data-sharing practices, and told his more than 42 million followers to uninstall WhatsApp after it announced users will have no choice but to agree to its data-sharing agreement.
Ya don’t say. Reminds me of this timeless classic … pic.twitter.com/Gq1wayoTIr
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
“Ya don’t say. Reminds me of this timeless classic …,” Musk wrote, attaching a photo of Zuckerberg suggesting Facebook to be spying on people’s lives.
The SpaceX founder said the public should use Signal instead.
Musk also attacked big tech companies last week following the censorship of President Trump.
Evil Fascist Dictator Censored And Voted Out Of Office https://t.co/8Cnc9YdPX2
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) January 11, 2021
“A lot of people are going to be super unhappy with West Coast high tech as the de facto arbiter of free speech,” the Tesla and SpaceX CEO tweeted on January 12.
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Source: The Scoop