Kate Coyer Co-authors Op-Ed on Facebook for the Boston Globe

April 13, 2022

“Profiting from hate and misinformation appears to be hardwired into Meta’s business model. This must change,” Nora Benavidez and our Fellow Kate Coyer write in an op-ed published in the Boston Globe.

The article, entitled “Facebook ought to be protecting democracy worldwide every day,” calls on Facebook owner Meta to do much more to fight disinformation.

Meta does have “break-glass” measures to slow down the spread of disinformation in case of what the company deems a democratic emergency. The authors urge Meta to keep such measures in place even after it thinks the crisis has ended. “We are in a global disinformation crisis. With Russian aggression escalating and 36 determinative national elections taking place in 2022, the urgency to act has never been stronger,” they write.

In particular, they call on Meta to implement three steps to combat disinformation. First, Meta needs to fix its algorithms that promote the most incendiary and hateful content. Second, instead of focusing so much on English-language content, Meta must protect its users equally, wherever they live. Third, Meta must be transparent about its amplification and moderation practices, giving access to researchers and journalists.

Nora Benavidez is the senior counsel and director of digital justice and civil rights at Free Press. Kate Coyer is a member of the Real Facebook Oversight Board.

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash