Fb is pushing one more set of latest options and insurance policies designed to attenuate hurt within the homestretch to Election Day whereas additionally rising “group” for customers. However these options will do nothing to mitigate present issues—and they’ll seemingly trigger new, extra widespread harms to each customers and to society.
The newest concern is a irritating set of modifications to the way in which that Fb handles teams. Final week, Fb introduced one more new strategy to “assist extra individuals discover and join with communities,” by placing these communities in your face whether or not you wish to see them or not. Each the teams tab and your particular person newsfeed will promote group content material from teams you might be not subscribed to within the hope that you’ll interact with the content material and with the group.
These modifications are new, small inconveniences piled atop irritating user-experience selections that Fb has been making for greater than a decade. However they’re the newest instance of how Fb tries to form each consumer’s expertise by means of black field algorithms—and the way this strategy harms not solely people however the world at giant. At this level, Fb is working so arduous to disregard skilled recommendation on find out how to cut back toxicity that it seems like Fb does not need to enhance in any significant method. Its management merely does not appear to care how a lot hurt the platform causes so long as the cash retains rolling in.