New York Mag’s Max Read wrote that Facebook, stuffed with hoaxes and largely-right wing fake news, has to face up to its role in promoting political disinformation that helped Donald Trump win the election: “it’s not just that Facebook makes politics worse, it’s that it changes politics entirely.”
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg denies this, saying that Facebook doesn’t influence people’s decisions..
“To think it influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea,” Zuckerberg said Thursday evening during the Techonomy conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif… “I do think there is a certain profound lack of empathy in asserting that the only reason someone could have voted the way they did is they saw some fake news.”
The obvious quip is to point out that he now has to explain why advertising on Facebook does influence decisions.
But the truth isn’t funny: Facebook was exposed years ago secretly experimenting on users to influence psychological states, so it’s well-aware of the extent to which they can be manipulated.