TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – As Facebook comes under increased scrutiny for amplifying divisive content and misinformation, what can the average user do to protect themselves?
WCTV spoke to the CEO of Aegis Business Technologies, a local technology company, about best practices for the platform.
If an article is in all caps, a link doesn’t look quite correct, or a timestamp is out of date, this should warn you that the content might not be legitimate.
“My mom loves Facebook,” explained Shanna Brajevic. “In fact, both of my parents send me Facebook information all the time.”
The average Facebook user does not consciously seek out disinformation or hateful content.
Many use the platform, as Arianna Gonzalez says, “To stay in touch with all my friends and family that I don’t see as often.”
But as a former employee calls out the platform to amplify hate speech and disinformation, some are rethinking Facebook’s impact on users.
“It seems really worrying to me,” Brajevic said.
Gonzalez adds, “There have been incidents where it’s like, it’s wrong, definitely.”
Blake Dowling, CEO of Aegis Business Technologies, says it’s important to critique the content that appears on your feed.
“Don’t click on it if it appears to be fake,” he said.
And, if you notice anything particularly disturbing, don’t ignore it.
“Stop following,” adds Dowling. “This is the most powerful function of Facebook; don’t follow something if you don’t like it, and don’t be afraid to report it, if it falls into that extremely negative category, report it. “
Facebook’s algorithm works to amplify content similar to what users have engaged with in the past. So, the best way to avoid negative content is to not engage in it.
“If we focus on the negative these platforms will continue to focus on the negative to move something positive forward, what about that,” Dowling continued.
Dowling says that while there are risks in using any social media, as long as you think critically about what you share and engage with, there is nothing wrong with using social media. platforms like Facebook to share cat photos or keep in touch with friends.
Copyright 2021 WCTV. All rights reserved.