After Donald Trump surprised even the most pessimistic of us by winning the U.S. presidential elections in 2016, the powers-that-be quickly sought to find a scapegoat to blame for their dismal failures. Supposedly, it wasn’t the corporate media’s fault, the DNC’s fault or the current neoliberal power structure’s fault for ramming down an unpopular candidate down our throat who was completely out of touch with reality; it was Russia’s fault.
The anti-Russian narrative has had dire consequences far beyond that than the common person will realize. Russia was able to swing the election in favor of Trump; but in the absence of any hard evidence that this was the case, the medium with which Russia supposedly achieved this victory has brought an attack on some very notable entities.
Facebook, Google, and the alternative media companies that rely on these social media giants to share their content faced renewed scrutiny after Donald Trump’s election victory. However, the truth about this ploy and where we are headed is far more sinister than anything George Orwell could have ever predicted.
In response to claims that “fake news” had an effect on the U.S. elections, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in early November 2016 that the idea that fake news circulating on Facebook could have possibly influenced the election was “pretty crazy.” According to Zuckerberg, “fake news” made up a very small amount of total content and that Facebook’s algorithm at the time delivered content to nearly 2 billion monthly users, reflecting what was“meaningful and interesting to them.”
“Voters make decisions based on their lived experience,” Zuckerberg said. “We really believe in people. You don’t generally go wrong when you trust that people understand what they care about, and you build systems that reflect that.”
Zuckerberg even defended the likes of hate-speech circulated in the age of Trump, permitting this content because it is all part of “mainstream political discourse.”
“We’ve studied this a lot, and I really care about it,” Zuckerberg also said. “All the research that we have suggests that this isn’t really a problem. We’ve had a really hard time getting that out.”
Zuckerberg also intimated that the company’s biggest responsibility to the country as a democracy is to “give people a voice,” whether they’re voters or candidates.
Barely a week after these pleasing remarks, Barack Obama hit back with an epic attack on Facebook.