24 hours before the opening of polling stations in the United States, a conspiratorial video supporting the thesis of a democratic coup d’etat became the second most recommended content when it was posted on Facebook Live. Reported by an internal employee, it ended up being deleted a few hours later. In the meantime, it will have been seen by 110,000 people. And it would not be an isolated case, according to BuzzFeedNews.
Numerous partisan videos and conspiracy theories were pushed by the platform’s algorithms throughout the campaign, making it to the top of the rankings. This was particularly the case with RT’s coverage of Camp Trump’s meetings and livestreams by the far-right site Breitbart. Enough to spoil the statements of management ensuring that user manipulations that occurred in 2016 would not recur.
From Steve Bannon to Charlie Kirk
Facebook still claims to have disabled, as of election day, recommendations for feeds from state-controlled media, as is the case with RT and Russia. Which does not solve the problem. BuzzFeedNews notes that “hyper-partisan” content has continued to emerge ever since. Speeches by Steve Bannon or Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow are thus favored, as are those of the very controversial Charlie Kirk.
Moratoriums on political advertising, warning messages accompanying false posts, hiring thousands of moderators, Facebook has not spared its efforts. But the platform is still reluctant to intervene head-on to control disinformation in the name of free speech.