During this election process, majority of people were reading articles about the Presidential candidates that were shared through Facebook or showed at the Facebook ‘trending’ side bar that is calculated using some complex algorithms none of us would understand. Don’t get me wrong, my tone may seem sarcastic but I do honestly believe this is a good thing because it does help educate more voters and also spread campaign awareness. The part that I am weary about is that this keeps Facebook users virtually in a bubble. Facebook generates its ‘trending’ articles based on the articles you are reading at the time. So, if you happen to read a few articles that your friends shared about how great of a candidate Hilary Clinton is then you are likely to be suggested to read an influx of articles from liberal magazines and news sites. There is nothing morally wrong with this but it also prevents voters from being educated on both platforms and reading things from another point of view. Now, don’t think this is some agenda of mine to play devil’s advocate- I truly believe that the best education is one that is well-rounded and one that covers all spectrums even if there is a disconnect in your beliefs. In fact, I think reading about something you don’t necessarily agree with helps solidify your beliefs and your argument that vouches for them.
Moreover, in this election, particularly, I felt most articles shared or ‘suggested’ were from sources that were highly left or right wing. This is sometimes problematic as facts are notably obscured and catered towards inciting emotions within readers. The truth is no one can control what sources other users share their articles from, however, Facebook does have control over what it shows as ‘trending’. Facebook should highly consider having a balance of articles shared and also share articles from reputable sources, not to promote any one party’s agenda, but to help spread factual information without any intended bias.
Millions of Americans use Facebook on a daily basis, clearly indicating how influential the social media site is. This means Facebook has the responsibility of making sure it is helping spread correct and factual information, as voting for something like the future President of the U.S. is no small issue.
What do you think about this? Have any thoughts? Please comment below!