Facebooks failure: did fake news and polarized politics get Trump elected?
The company is being accused of abdicating its responsibility to clamp down on fake news stories and counter the echo chamber that defined this election
If I were to run, Id run as a Republican. They are the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and theyd still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.
Many Guardian readers will have seen this quote, attributed to a 1998 interview with Donald Trump in People magazine, in their Facebook news feed.
It typifies the kind of fake news and misinformation that has plagued the 2016 election on an unprecedented scale. In the wake of the surprise election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, pressure is growing on Facebook to not only tackle the problem but also to find ways to encourage healthier discourse between people with different political views.
Rather than connecting people as Facebooks euphoric mission statement claims the bitter polarization of the social network over the last eighteen months suggests Facebook is actually doing more to divide the world.