“Facebook disbanded their Civic Integrity Unit after the 2020 election.” Ever wondered why your positive, good vibes posts aren’t going viral?
Scott Pelley shed some light on this during his report tonight on 60 Minutes which referenced the article released minutes ago by The Wall Street Journal. He interviewed Frances Haugen, a data scientist who worked for Facebook from 2019-2021. In his report, Scott said “Facebook is a 17 year old company worth $1 trillion. They have 2.8 billion people using their platform. That’s 60% of all internet connected people on Earth.”
That’s a lot of zeros.
When Frances discovered Facebook’s algorithm is designed to “favor and present extreme content” that conjures an emotional reaction and that the content is “dividing and harming societies around the world” she made a decision that just might change social media and leave Facebook and all 2.8 billion of those people better.
She left Facebook with thousands of pages of research and she blew the whistle to raise awareness, hold Facebook accountable and partner with the SEC to leave everyone better- including Facebook. Frances said extreme content is favored because it lures people in and gets them to stay on the platform longer. The math is simple. The longer people scroll, the more money Facebook earns.
Think about this for a minute. Facebook has the attention of 2.8 billion people. They understand the power of the choices they are making about their algorithm. They are choosing to put profit over the well being of people and peaceful societies. They understand they are doing harm.
But what if Mark Zuckerberg and his team chose differently?
What if they chose to lead with kindness? What if they chose to forgo some of those zeros in revenue and use their platform for good?
Dare to imagine the seismic positive impact Facebook could have on people and circumstances globally. These people literally have the ability to affect the way we feel about one another. If they committed to kindness- to leaving everyone better (doing no harm) they could become one of the greatest unifiers of our lifetime.
I applaud you Frances Haugen.
Thank you for being kind.
Thank you for being brave. Godspeed sister.