Slate – Facebook and others have gotten more serious about hoaxes, hate speech, propaganda, and foreign election interference. Here’s how it helped in the midterms—and why they aren’t going away.
“At first grimace, the role of social media in the 2018 U.S. midterm elections looked a lot like the role it played in the 2016, when the hijacking of tech platforms by foreign agents and domestic opportunists became one of the major subplots of Donald Trump’s victory and sparked a series of high-profile congressional inquiries. Despite all of the backlash, all the scrutiny, all the promises made by the likes of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to do better, the boogeymen that reared their head then are still snarling today. That’s dispiriting, because the tech companies had two years to prepare, and untold resources at their disposal. Facebook even had a well-staffed election “war room” tasked with finding and addressing the very kinds of hoaxes that continued to crop up throughout the election cycle. If they haven’t fixed things by now, well: When will they? The answer is probably “never.”…”