Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Ethical issues, Social Media, Social Networks, Social Responsibility.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, right, is escorted by his RCMP security detail as people protest while he leaves a campaign in Brantford, Ont., on Monday.

The trolls accosting Justin Trudeau at campaign stops across Canada are hardly the first to bring the worst of Facebook to real life.

“Death to Trudeau” memes have been dominant on Facebook for years. The guy who packed his truck full of guns and drove through the gates of Rideau Hall in search of the “traitor” Trudeau was neck deep in conspiracy theories on Facebook.

The convoy of petro-fanatics that descended on Ottawa in 2019 sporting signs reading “Oil in the pipe, Trudeau in the ground” used the same language. And wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that the Conservative Party slapped Trudeau’s face onto the body of Veruca Salt performing her famous tantrum in Willy Wonka’s factory? What’s not to hate?

That so many in the media are asking how we came to this shows how uninformed Canadians are about the harms of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Promoting indignation isn’t an accidental side effect of their work. It’s their core business.

Source: Toronto Star (note: this is an “opinion piece”)

Date: September 10th, 2021

Link: https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2021/09/08/social-media-giants-continue-to-harm-democracy-and-its-evident-during-this-election.html

Discussion

  1. ” A 2017 Pew Research Center study found posts expressing “indignant disagreement garnered 50 per cent more likes, twice as many shares, and three times as many comments as those expressing bipartisanship or solidarity. ” If this is known to be true, what could Facebook, Twitter and others do to automatically moderate content?
  2. How might Facebook, Google, Twitter and others design an AI (Artificial Intelligence) to make reasonable decisions around what content is “objectionable”?

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