The widening divisions in society appear to have been exacerbated by the use of social media platforms, according to several reports.
Facebook is naturally the first thing that springs to mind when thinking of social networking sites. This is due to the fact that it is the largest platform and that it has attempted for a long time to downplay its role in igniting conflict. However, according to a recent study, platforms such as these “have played a key role in aggravating political polarisation, which can lead to such extremist violence as we have seen.”
Social media platforms and social divide are two important concepts to understand.
The conclusion stated above is not a good one. Scientists at New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights conducted the study that resulted in the report. As is customary on Facebook, the inquiry is called into question. Existing research, according to the business, “demonstrates that social media is not the primary cause of detrimental divisiveness.” While the researchers at NYU write that “research more narrowly focused on the years since 2016 suggests that widespread use of major platforms has exacerbated hatred,” they also write that “research more narrowly focused on the years since 2016 suggests that widespread use of major platforms has exacerbated hatred.”
A large number of reports have been analysed by the researchers. They investigated the relationship between polarisation and social media research in this study. They also conducted interviews with dozens of researchers as well as at least one Facebook official, Yann Le Cun, Facebook’s top artificial intelligence researcher.
Without a doubt, the internet cannot be held entirely responsible. As a result, the researchers underline that social media was not the original cause of the problem. However, they significantly increased their efforts. It is amazing that they describe how, for example, Facebook is fully aware of this situation, which is astounding. Facebook’s own efforts to lessen division, such as putting less focus on political items in the news feed, demonstrate that the business is fully cognizant of its responsibilities.
But what is the best way to deal with this? That is a challenging task. A further claim made in the study is that “the businesses are refusing to explain how their platforms operate.” In one of their recommendations, the researchers suggest that the government “compel social media companies such as Facebook, Google, YouTube, and others to reveal data about how their algorithms rank, recommend, and remove content.” They argue that platforms that make data available, as well as independent academics who conduct research on it, should be legally protected as part of their work. Will it ever reach to that point…