Columns

Facebook Is Ruining Democracy, and Zuckerberg Can't Stop It

For a minute, it appeared Donald Trump had sewn up the deadbeat-parent vote for his reelection campaign. Last week, an article declaring “Child Support Said to End by Beginning of 2018" thanks to a new law signed by the commander in chief appeared on the Facebook page of the website react365.com. The story garnered 46,000 shares. By the time legit blogs and news outlets pointed out the article was a hoax, the same BS story popped up on the Facebook page of another fake news website, tmzbreaking.com, where it got another 238,000 shares.

The fake child-support story was likely a test run by the same Russian spooks allegedly responsible for spreading racist propaganda that helped Trump during last year’s U.S. presidential election, according to an internal investigation conducted by Facebook. They want to make sure they can still penetrate the social network’s supposed defenses just as Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is attempting damage control.
During a Facebook Live chat Thursday, Zuckerberg said the company would make advertisers disclose who paid for their ads and would “beef up” its review of political advertisements before publishing. In true Trumpian fashion, the president tried to flip it around. He tweeted, “The Russia hoax continues, now it's ads on Facebook.”

It must kill Zuckerberg, whose net worth is $72.7 billion, to know that the little thing he created while attending Harvard University to communicate with his friends has morphed into a monster that could bring about a civil war or World War III.

Zuckerberg is having a meltdown because the company’s internal probe confirmed one of his worst fears: He has lost control of Facebook. It began when fake news stories about Hillary Clinton helped persuade millions of Facebook users to elect the worst person to ever become president. Zuckerberg’s private sleuths say they discovered a Russian operation spent $100,000 on issues-related advertisements promoting fake accounts and pages that spewed anti-immigrant and anti-minority rhetoric, two cornerstones of Trump’s campaign.

It will be nearly impossible for Zuckerberg and his Facebook crew to crack down on hoaxes. The public loves to consume juicy gossip even if it’s proven totally untrue.

Follow Luther Campbell on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Listen to Luke's podcast, The Luke Show.