Facebook has become a fact of our sad existences. Most of us use it every day in some capacity, whether we like it or not. Despite Mark Zuckerberg’s goal to shepherd the communication platform that connects the world, Facebook has been proving that it doesn’t seem to be aware of its own immense impact.
Here is a surely non-exhaustive roundup of some of the ways the social media juggernaut missed the mark with how it treats its users (read: nearly everyone in the world) this week.
- Age-specific ad targeting: In yet another blockbuster report from ProPublica, Facebook made it possible for employers to post job listings on its social platform and targeted the listings to specific age groups. This raises serious questions about employment opportunity fairness to older workers. In fact, some experts told ProPublica that this practice may violate federal age-discrimination laws.
- Giving up on fact-checking: For those who remember earlier this year (I sure don’t), Facebook began rolling out a feature that would flag content whose factual accuracy was contested, labeling it with a “disputed” tag. Now Facebook is not doing that because, it turns out, it didn’t work. Instead, the social network will surface other articles that fact-check the content in question beside it.
- Questionable political ties: Facebook has entire teams devoted to behind-the-scenes political work. The company’s “global government and politics team” has been working with campaigns around the world, teaching them how to use the platform. Today, Bloomberg published a thorough story about how this team embedded with campaigns–including a German anti-immigration party, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Filipino leader Rodrigo Duterte.
- European crackdown: Europe may very well be one of Facebook’s hardest markets. This is because countries like Germany and France follow very strict regulations for data privacy and hate speech. In France, Facebook was told to stop sharing WhatsApp data with its parent company. And in Germany, Facebook will soon be subject to regulations that will fine the platform millions of euros if it doesn’t swiftly take down hateful content. European governments, which are implementing new rules to put checks on Facebook, have time and time again found the company’s practices to be questionable.