A former Facebook employee has lifted the lid on the social media platform’s business practices claiming it promotes “fake news” because it pulls in ad dollars.
Dipayan Ghosh (main photo) was a privacy and public policy advisor for Facebook up until last year and has written a report published on US website Digital Deceit that claims Facebook is built on “sophisticated technology to aggregate user attention and sell advertising”.
Ghosh and his co-author Ben Scott said in the report: “Political disinformation succeeds because it follows the structural logic, benefits from the products and perfects the strategies of the broader digital advertising market.”
The report says that Facebook’s business model is basically advertising-driven, algorithmically-run and attention-focused.
It said: “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.”
Ghosh added that he believed Facebook should be better regulated, particularly when it came to privacy issues such as profiling a user’s political persuasion. He said that a simple solution would be to switch news feeds back to a chronological listing.