Monday, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) warned that it can offer no assurance that social media was good for democracy, but the company said it was trying what it could to stop alleged meddling in elections.
The sharing of false or misleading headlines on social media has become a global issue, after accusations that Russia tried to influence votes in the United States, Britain and France. Moscow denies the allegations.
Facebook, the largest social network with more than 2-B users, addressed social media’s role in democracy in blog posts from a Harvard University professor, Cass Sunstein, and from an employee working on the subject.
“I wish I could guarantee that the positives are destined to outweigh the negatives, but I can’t,” Samidh Chakrabarti, a Facebook product manager, wrote in his post.
Facebook, he added, has a “moral duty to understand how these technologies are being used and what can be done to make communities like Facebook as representative, civil and trustworthy as possible.”
Contrite Facebook executives were already fanning out across Europe this week to address the company’s slow response to abuses on its platform, such as hate speech and foreign influence campaigns.
US lawmakers have held hearings on the role of social media in elections, and this month Facebook widened an investigation into the run-up to Britain’s 2016 referendum on EU membership.
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