The Un-Neutrality of Facebook

ChurchMag | 10/15/2019 | Phil Schneider
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There’s a lot of political news out there, and while ChurchMag strives to stay about politics, sometimes we have to address it. Even so, I will endeavor to do so without partisan passions. For now, let’s forget our political persuasions and talk about Elizabeth Warren, US Senator and Democratic candidate for the presidency, and her relationship with Facebook.

For some time, Senator Warren has called for the break-up of several tech giants (read: “monopolies”), Facebook being one of them. Of course, none of these huge tech companies want to be broken up, and I can’t say that I blame them. Unfortunately for Facebook, its CEO was caught on tape saying as much:

Zuckerberg - Company - President - Elizabeth - Warren

Zuckerberg is clearly uncomfortable with, or maybe even afraid of, what might happen to his company under President Elizabeth Warren. Like many companies in a similar position, he might spend money on lobbyists to try and sway opinion in Congress to stave off any major legislation against Facebook and similar companies.

While that might sound unseemly, it is how these things have been handled for decades, even centuries. What is really frightening, though, is the thought that he might levy Facebook’s nearly incalculable influence against Warren and her policies.

Facebook - Publisher - Content - Platform - Others

Facebook has often resisted being considered a publisher of content. They are a platform upon which others can publish their own content. What if they begin to limit that platform to those whose opinions that they find disadvantageous to themselves? Facebook’s algorithms (the mathematical, learning formulas that filter the content in the background) are already fine-tuned to show you the content you’re most likely to engage with.

They could easily relegate Warren’s anti-monopolistic message to a circle of like-minded people, to avoid claims they are silencing her while still preventing her message from spreading and swaying others against them.

Warren

Warren herself is already concerned about...
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