What does this say about about social media and democracy?

Facebook has extended its election-time ban on election ads, itself part of a larger effort by the platform to combat misinformation.

“While multiple sources have projected a presidential winner, we still believe it’s important to help prevent confusion or abuse on our platform,” Facebook told advertisers in an email seen by Reuters. It said to expect the pause to last another month…

These efforts add to other measures undertaken by social media platforms to curb disinformation – such taking down ‘Stop the Steal’ groups on Facebook.

The reality is, a many-to-many communication platform makes political consensus nearly impossible. Even if we know the fact that Joe Biden has won the US election, far too many people can post and share alternative histories of the recent events.

The fact that Facebook sees the need to block ads reaffirms the argument for a conscious uncoupling of democratic politics from social media. The latter simply doesn’t support the former. It’s unlikely engineering is going to change that.

2 thoughts on “What does this say about about social media and democracy?

  1. As is any presidential election year, nobody has formally won the election until the Electoral College meets. Far too often we as a people have allowed the media to “decide” a winner well over a month before that constitutionally prescribed meeting of the EC. So there is no currently existing “fact” that anyone has won the 2020 presidential election, no matter what the media or Twitter or Facebook or the DNC wants to claim right now.


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