Facebook has “responsibility” to deal with abuse of platform, co-founder says
Facebook co-founder and basic-income evangelist Chris Hughes says Facebook has an increasing responsibility to grapple with the influence it wields over relationships, society and even politics. He spoke Wednesday to CBSN’s Elaine Quijano on “Red & Blue” about increasing abuse of the platform.
“People often ask me … could you have imagined that Facebook could be used for good or for ill?” he said. “In the early days it was a very hard thing to imagine, but in the last few years, as Facebook has gotten more and more prominent, there’s more and more of a responsibility that comes with that.”
Hughes said he believed the people who are running the company “seem to be turning a corner understanding” how the platform can be abused. He said he hoped they would be making some changes.
Facebook, in addition to Twitter and smaller social-media networks, has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in influencing the 2016 election — an idea that Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s CEO, initially brushed off. The company is now making amends, including sending postcards to people who may have seen Russian-backed advertising and increasing the number of staffers working on security.
The platform has also been criticized for the more subtle ways in which it restricts opportunity. Facebook’s targeted ads can be used to, for example, exclude people of a particular ethnic affinity from seeing housing ads, which is illegal under federal law.
Hughes is promoting his new book, “Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn,” which came out Tuesday. As a freshman at Harvard, Hughes roomed with Mark Zuckerberg and went on to co-found Facebook, now one of the world’s most valuable companies.
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