Spotlight on social media ahead of crucial elections in SA
A new study notes that the growing influence of Facebook and other online platforms can be used for the public good instead of spreading fake news
Facebook should consider making key changes to ensure it becomes a better forum for free speech and democracy, according to a new report by academics at the University of Oxford in the UK and Stanford University in the US. The report comes as SA prepares for polls, which are likely to take place in May. Facebook and other social media platforms including Twitter, have been blamed for allowing the rise of misinformation, which is said to pose a danger to democracy. In 2018, Facebook acknowledged that the explosion of social media poses a potential threat to democracy, vowing to tackle the problem and turn its powerful platform into a force for “good”. This was after social media platforms faced a backlash for facilitating the spread of fake news ahead of the 2016 US election, the Brexit vote and other crucial elections around the world. The study titled Glasnost! Nine Ways Facebook Can Make Itself a Better Forum for Free Speech and Democracy, published on Thursday, proposes, among ot...
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