After critique regarding its quarterly content report, Facebook defended its methods for preventing misinformation and deciding what posts to circulate over others through its curated algorithm.
Critics suggested the report did not include significant data regarding misinformation and extremist content. Top issues regarding misinformation include speculations around COVID-19, vaccines, and the 2020 Presidential Election. White House spokesman Michael Gwin told Axios, “Facebook still refuses to be straightforward about how much misinformation is circulating — and being actively promoted — on their platform.”
Speculation regarding the authenticity of Facebook’s transparency increased after the New York Times reported that the company withheld part of its last quarterly report. After the backlash, Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said, “We’re guilty of cleaning up our house a bit before we invited company. We’ve been criticized for that; and again, that’s not unfair.”
In the last year, curiosity around the practices of big tech companies in relation to the circulation of information increased. Currently, the Department of Justice is moving forward with an antitrust lawsuit against Google.
Other issues include whistleblower reports suggesting companies create algorithms to promote a certain political agenda. Americans’ distrust of big tech companies illustrates a value for first amendment rights and maintaining freedom in the public square.