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Monday, January 18, 2021

Facebook Issues Official Response to Claims Made in Netflix Documentary ‘The Social Dilemma’

Facebook has issued today an official reprimand in a very unexpected move, to the claims made in the new documentary of Netflix ‘The Social Dilemma‘, that provides an overview of the many different ways of how social media platforms have become gradually very dangerous and divisive as their usage is increasing by time.

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Most reviews of The Social Dilemma have actually been highly critical, noting that while the documentary does make some valid and important points, it is somehow into sensationalism, which eventually weakens its key messaging.

Most of the reviews on the documentary have been highly critical actually. While it makes some valid and significant points

However, clearly, it has got Facebook concerned. The Social Network stays calm on all the claims and criticism of this matter. However, with reports that a lot of users are considering deleting Instagram and Facebook accounts after watching the Social Dilemma, Facebook decided to issue 2 pages of 7 points responding to the core spots.

Facebook Social Dilemma response
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As you may expect, responses of Facebook are on:

  • Social media addiction
  • People as the product
  • Algorithms
  • Data usage
  • Polarization
  • Election interference
  • Misinformation

Facebook shared its views on all of the topics above. Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the response. However, the only surprise is that Facebook decided to respond. Facebook’s response will put more gas on the fire and will make even more people watch the documentary.

Because people will think that if Facebook needed to respond, it must have struck a nerve! So, there is an important matter we have to watch.

Even though Facebook’s responses are expected, they somewhat do skip the core of some points.

For instance, as a response to the claim that people are Facebook’s ‘product’, Facebook changes the question to be about data sharing, which wasn’t the author’s main mean in the documentary. So, even if Facebook does not give your information to advertisers in a direct way, Facebook, indeed, does make tons of money from the advanced targeting system it has, which uses personal information to focus on ads.

In this respect, people’s data is the product, and Facebook has the most complex database of personal information ever happened in the world. And if it doesn’t, as Facebook stated, give these data directly to advertisers.

You may argue that counter claims of Facebook on misinformation and polarization are a bit deceptive, yet many of it comes down to how you decide to respond to the question, as contrary to what the right answer may be.

Facebook didn’t consider certain controversial problems on times and topics, which has gained user’s benefits of engagement, while many experiments have indicated that users can, of course, become more aligned by algorithmic suggestions and blocking tools.

Facebook has even -as per the documentary- underlined that case itself. This year, head of VR of AR of Facebook, Andrew Bosworth, has shared what was decided to be an internal memo, that he stated that Facebook’s algorithm basically makes division via exposing news content.

However, Facebook is likely to re-phrase these questions in its responses and turn the main focus in different areas – such as, for example, what it is done to develop the efforts of the political ads since 2016. Facebook has developed point, yet still, there are serious concerns that Facebook is used for voter manipulation and political misinformation all over the world.

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