Keith Altman, an attorney who has filed a lawsuit against Facebook for its part in spreading terror-related content, has a conversation with Fox Business to address a concerning pattern. The discussion focused on the spread of fake news and how major social media platforms, like Facebook, are dealing with this problem.
Social Media: The New Playground for Manipulation
In the discussion, Altman mentioned that they’ve spent the past 18 months researching on how social media platforms are being misused by nefarious organizations or individuals with ill intentions. The findings indicate that as people increasingly rely on social media for their news, it has become remarkably easy for anyone to manipulate messages and information.
Altman discussed a range of issues from terrorism, fake news, the Russian influence over elections, to fake ads, emphasizing that the problem is not slowing down but rather accelerating. This claim stands in stark contrast to Facebook's position that they had the problem of fake news under control.
Where's the Accountability?
“These companies have absolutely no accountability for the information that they pose that's used on their sites.”
A significant part of the problem, according to Altman, is the lack of accountability these companies have towards the content posted on their platforms. He refers to Section 230, a law that provides protection to these tech platforms, appears to be their "get-out-of-jail-free card." Altman argues that these companies bear "no responsibility or accountability” and they’re not putting the real effort to curtail the spread of such fake news and information. Hiring a few individuals or introducing minor changes is not enough in tackling the root of the problem.
A Troubling Statistic
During the interview, Altmans shared a surprising fact which indicates that an estimated 10 million people in the United States had seen at least one of the 3,000 political ads tied to accounts linked with the Russian government. This concern questions how platforms like Facebook handle user data and the implications of their advertising models.
Altman mentioned that Facebook doesn't just monitor users' political preferences but potentially sells this data to keen entities, providing them with everything they need to target particular demographic groups. In the wrong hands, this can be a powerful tool for manipulation, especially during election times.
Attorney Keith Altman has challenged social media giants over the spread of fake news and terror-related content either by taking legal actions such as his lawsuit against Facebook voicing his concerns on various media outlets. His recent interview with Fox Business serves as a critical reminder of the power that the online platforms have. Although social media platforms like Facebook have connected people, they've also opened the door to manipulation on a massive scale. It’s important to hold these tech giants accountable for the content posted on their platform to ensure authenticity of the content.