Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg posted a statement earlier this week that surprisingly angered different commentators all around the social media space.
Zuckerberg used 1,000 words to get his point across, but unluckily for him, this was felt loudest, “As networks of people replace traditional hierarchies and reshape many institutions in our society— from government to business to media to communities and more— there is a tendency of some people to lament this change, to overly emphasize the negative, and in some cases to go so far as saying the shift to empowering people in the ways the internet and these networks do is mostly harmful to society and democracy.”
Several commentators felt like Zuckerberg had been deflecting the blame with this statement, deliberately choosing to say ‘the internet’ instead of ‘Facebook’.
“By turning the focus away from Facebook to ‘the internet’ you try to fool us into conflating the two,” says Siva Vaidhyanathan, professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia, in his open letter to Mark Zuckerberg that he wrote and published in The Guardian.
British politician Damian Collins says that ‘there is nothing empowering about the Facebook ad check team failing to stop a Russian agency from running adverts targeting American voters using fake accounts’, which has been a problem at Facebook in the recent months and years.” He adds, “The proliferation of disinformation through social media is undermining democracy because it has become far too easy for people to mislead others, divide communities and spread messages of hate.”