Accuracy in Media

Technology companies, with the threat of government regulation looming on a national scale, are beginning to attempt to regulate themselves. One of the examples is Facebook, the giant social media platform based in the Bay Area in northern California.

BuzzFeed’s latest article, entitled, “Facebook The Plaintiff: Why The Company Is Suddenly Suing So Many Bad Actors,” dove into Facebook’s growing litigation arm. Facebook hired Jessica Romero as the company’s director of platform enforcement and litigation, after her work as a federal prosecutor at the Department of Justice.

The article discussed eight lawsuits filed by Facebook, presumably following Romero’s guidance, against bad actors in the social media space. The lawsuits were supposed to deter companies and individuals from “selling fake engagement, committing ad fraud, abusing user data, and cybersquatting on the company’s trademarks.”

BuzzFeed also mentioned that before Romero’s hiring, Facebook did not take platform enforcement issues to court and lacked “a clear legal strategy” of pursuing scammers. So far, this year’s eight lawsuits filed are more “than in all previous years combined.” BuzzFeed hinted that this could be an attempt from Facebook to demonstrate to the government that it does not need regulation.

However, BuzzFeed’s article lacked additional context on the multiple scandals that have plagued Facebook in recent years. It acknowledged the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but the article did not mention alleged inflated video view metrics, infiltration from internet trolls, and alleged anti-conservative political bias that affected online ads from conservative groups and organizations.

BuzzFeed’s article came off as sugarcoating the many problems facing Facebook, if not outrightly ignoring them. The alleged anti-conservative bias, for example, spurred Congress to call in Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify on Facebook’s practices and it was a large scandal and news story. Yet, BuzzFeed ignored Facebook’s alleged ideological bias in its article.

Next time, BuzzFeed should include more context and details about technology companies like Facebook to better inform its viewers and represent those of all political and ideological viewpoints, not solely those who are left-leaning.

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