A few months before the US presidential election, major social networks promised to deal with the flow of disinformation during the vote, promptly taking appropriate measures. The vote count is still in progress, but some experts have already condemned Facebook and Twitter for failing to resist lies, even at moments that are critical for the entire nation.
Facebook and Twitter have struggled to deliver on their promises to contain disinformation during the US presidential election, but failed to reach the milestone they had set, writes the Financial Times. Experts interviewed by the publication believe that adding special tags to publications that spread lies is not a sufficient measure to combat fakes.
For example, on Twitter, the labeling of "controversial content" received several messages from the incumbent president of the country, Donald Trump, that he was "by far in the lead" in a number of states, as well as that Democrats were trying to "steal elections."
Facebook, on the other hand, took an unprecedented step and automatically added the above information plates to all publications of Trump and his rival Joe Biden after the American leader began talking about his victory before the official results were announced.
Analysts point to the fact that social media has focused on Trump's posts and overlooked other high-ranking conservative politicians.
вЂњDue to the fact that all the attention was riveted on the president, [social media] did not manage to cope with his influential aides and allies who have a lot of influence in the ecosystem of the right-wing media,вЂќ
- said Jesse Lerich, co-founder of AccountableTech and former spokesman for Hillary Clinton.
Former European Parliament Member and Political Director at Stanford University's Cyber вЂ‹вЂ‹Policy Center, Mariette Schaake, believe that flagging posts as inauthentic does not in any way reduce the impact they have on users.
вЂњThousands of Trump supporters now believe that someone has stolen their votes, and this is a dangerous dynamic,вЂќ Schaake said.
Fadi Kuran, a spokesman for the global civil society organization Avaaz, told the New York Times that Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube must work harder to protect Americans from disinformation.
вЂњSocial media must step up its [containing lies] before the country plunges into chaos and confusion. Democracy is in danger, вЂќsays Kuran.
However, some experts believe that media platforms have done well. The former head of information security at Facebook Alex Stamos argues that tech companies will have a long battle with fake news in the current elections, but they are fully prepared for it.
вЂњThere will always be misinformation, but now its influence will be reduced. They [social networks] continue to work actively on this and will maintain the current level until the election results are universally recognized, вЂќStamos said.
At the moment, the results of the US presidential election have not yet been officially announced. According to preliminary data, the current president of the country, Donald Trump, is losing in a number of key states.