An internal Facebook report presented to executives in 2018 found that the company was well aware that its product, especially its recommendation engine, had eliminated divisions and mergers, according to a new report by The Wall Street Journal.
However, despite being warned of the potential impact this community has on Facebook, Facebook’s leadership has ignored the findings and has made great efforts to challenge responsibility for the breakup of organizations and other forms of direct involvement, the report said. The reason? The changes could adversely affect conservatives and could jeopardize engagement, the report said.
“Our algorithms exploit to attract the human brain to differentiate,” another slide from the presentation read. The group found that if the core of its recommendation engine was left unoccupied, it would continue to work for Facebook users “with more differentiated content in an effort to gain user attention and increase time on the platform.” A separate internal report, created in 2016, said 64 percent of people who joined the extremist group on Facebook did just that because the company’s algorithm recommended it to them, reports the WSJ.
Leading the effort to ease these concerns and shift the focus of Facebook away from unity has been Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s president of global public policy and former chief of staff under President George W. Bush. Caplan is a partisan opponent of his strong politics – he supports Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh throughout his nomination – and his obvious ability to hold CEO Mark Zuckerberg on important policy issues. Kaplan has played a major role in Facebook since the 2016 election, and critics say his policy and valuation was designed to excuse him and justify the accusations.
Kaplan, for example, is believed to be part of a controversial political advertising policy, in which the company said it would not control the false information displayed in campaign ads based on that. He has also influenced Facebook’s smooth way of talking and exploring over the past few years by saying that the company doesn’t want to discriminate against conservatives.
The Wall Street Journal says that Kaplan contributed to weakening or even completely eliminating proposals for changing the forum to promote social good and reduce the influence of so-called “key participants,” who were often inspirational and, at times, disillusioned. It was chosen that they could be paid to use Facebook or the bot. However, Caplan went back to some of the proposed changes – many of which were made up of News Feed leadership led by Carlos Gomez Uribe – in fear that they would affect the pages of the left-wing governments, politicians and other labor groups that had begun to get involved.
One noteworthy project that Kaplan was vandalizing was called the Commons Ground, which sought to promote political neutrality on the platform that could bring together shared interests as hobbies. But the group that formed the organization said it would require Facebook to “behave” in some cases by choosing not to promote certain types of content-linked content and that efforts could jeopardize regular engagement, reports the WSJ. The party has since been disbanded.
In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson tells The Verge, “We have learned a lot since 2016 and we are not the same company today. We have built a strong integrity team, strengthened our policies and practices to reduce the risk of harmful content, and use research to understand the impact of our platform on society to keep improving. “This past February we announced $ 2M of funding for independent research proposals on environmental discrimination.”