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Facebook’s reliance on advertising enables fake news, says report

The report was cowritten by a former Facebook privacy and public policy advisor, reports the Guardian. In it the former exec says the disinformation spread during 2016 events like Brexit and the U.S. presidential election is strongly linked to the nature of Facebook as an advertising platform:

“Political disinformation succeeds because it follows the structural logic, benefits from the products and perfects the strategies of the broader digital advertising market . . .

“The central problem of disinformation corrupting American political culture is not Russian spies or a particular social media platform. The central problem is that the entire industry is built to leverage sophisticated technology to aggregate user attention and sell advertising.

“There is an alignment of interests between advertisers and the platforms. And disinformation operators are typically indistinguishable from any other advertiser. Any viable policy solutions must start here.”

The report suggest there may be a simple solution to this conundrum: switching Facebook’s news feed back to a chronological listing. Facebook has not yet commented on the report.

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