What We're Following

The hottest topic in news about trust this month has been Facebook and the extent to which the company is doing harm both to its users and the world at large. In the world of social media, misinformation, conspiracy and contention drive engagement – and engagement means revenue. Researchers investigating the reliability of information disseminated on Facebook have been curtailed by the company, and unsavory findings discovered by the company’s own researchers have been stifled and kept under wraps.

In addition to concerns about user privacy, misinformation, and negative impacts on self-esteem in teenage users, the role of Facebook in the decline of local news is getting a fresh look. Coming on the heels of the Wall Street Journal investigation into Facebook, a former Facebook employee and whistleblower testified before Congress and discussed her frustration with the company’s lack of transparency and refusal to address issues created by its own hand.

Read more about the situation with Facebook here:

  • The Wall Street Journal is publishing The Facebook Files, a series in which they’ve compiled their investigative reporting on the misdeeds of the social media giant.
  • The NY Times did a round-up of the key events involving Facebook as well as what’s to come.
  • Read an article examining the impact of Facebook and media ownership structures on serving local communities with quality news.
  • New York Times contributor Kara Swisher, who knows more about Silicon Valley intrigue than pretty much anybody, has focused on Facebook in two recent episodes of her podcast. Her discussion with her former colleague Walt Mossberg is particularly interesting. The episode featuring U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff also covers the Jan. 6 Commission.