Nowhere has this change been more obvious than Facebook, which has been conceived over the years as a kind of posthuman communication platform. Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive officer, often mentioned the “frictionless” design philosophy. The other executives I spoke of seemed to believe that ultimately Facebook would be some sort of self-policing machine, with artificial intelligence doing most of the dirty work and humans doing as little intervention as possible.
But ahead of the 2020 elections, Facebook went in the opposite direction. This put in place a new and cumbersome approval process for political advertisers and blocked new political ads after Election Day. We suppressed false claims and deployed “viral circuit breakers” to give fact checkers time to evaluate suspicious stories. And to reduce the likelihood of violent anxiety, we temporarily blocked recommendation algorithms for certain types of private groups. (Thursday, the New York Times Company Other interim measures to reduce election-related misinformation, such as adding more friction to the post sharing process.)
In fact, all these changes can make Facebook more secure. But they also include re-dialing the very features that have contributed to the platform’s growth over the years. It’s as if Ferrari realized that it could avoid car crashes by replacing the engine with a go-kart motor.
“Looking at Facebook’s election response, it was essentially focusing a lot of traffic and attention on these hubs curated by people. It’s about reimagining social media as a public place. “This is ultimately a sign that human judgment is irreplaceable when you have really important information.”
Twitter has been trying to break the brakes over the past four years with another platform that has worked for as frictionless communication as possible over the years. Bringing in more moderators, tweaking the rules, and more people oversight for features like popular topics. in Months until election, It banned political advertising and disabled the sharing of tweets containing misleading information about election results, including part of the presidential account.