Anytime someone starts telling you that their end is so noble it justifies any means, you should run away from them as fast as you possibly can.
A very relevant article from Ted Chiang:
"Consider: Who pursues their goals with monomaniacal focus, oblivious to the possibility of negative consequences? Who adopts a scorched-earth approach to increasing market share? This hypothetical strawberry-picking AI does what every tech startup wishes it could do — grows at an exponential rate and destroys its competitors until it’s achieved an absolute monopoly. The idea of superintelligence is such a poorly defined notion that one could envision it taking almost any form with equal justification: a benevolent genie that solves all the world’s problems, or a mathematician that spends all its time proving theorems so abstract that humans can’t even understand them. But when Silicon Valley tries to imagine superintelligence, what it comes up with is no-holds-barred capitalism."
Aligning anything with its stated goals has always been a hard problem, the superintelligent paperclip factory just happens to be sensational enough to grab attention.
I would highly recommend if you are interested in this topic.
Almost all big companies are older than B corps have existed for. It might be a "wait and see" kind of thing.
Thats typically been the way we've managed these kinds of threats/bad actors, but technology is changing so fast and policy makers are hamstrung by bureaucracy, incompetence, apathy or all three.
Maybe this research is wrong - but I'd like to see any research if Facebook fake news did really have any influence at all.
So if fake news drive people to vote it should be a good thing, at least in the minds of people that think voting is always good?
When a candidate/politician tells a lie, they can be called out on it and are (until recently) accountable to their words and actions.
However, fake news purveyors can practically anonymously blanket the internet to such a degree that mass manipulation can occur with no real way to counter it.
Given how much it is done by top politicians, and they are still getting elected and re-elected for decades, I think most of the electorate is OK with that.
> When a candidate/politician tells a lie, they can be called out on it and are (until recently) accountable to their words and actions.
Or not. But I don't see how it is related to the topic under discussion. You said the main effect of fake news is getting people to vote. But getting people to vote is considered to be a good thing, so what is the bad thing then? That they are lies? Politician lie all the time, nothing changed. Democracy survived it.
> However, fake news purveyors can practically anonymously blanket the internet
Do you realize the size of the modern internet? Nobody can "blanket" it.
> to such a degree that mass manipulation can occur with no real way to counter it.
So we're back to the original question - is there any evidence of mass manipulation actually occurring, and if so - who is being manipulated and to do what? So far the hypothesis was that the people are manipulated to vote more - but, as I noted, people are manipulated to vote on every election, this has nothing to do with "fake news", literally everybody is trying to manipulate their supporters to vote more (and their opponents to vote less). Is there any data that fake news makes a noticeable effect on this? I certainly haven't seen any, and neither of the MSM articles mentioning this as an obvious fact that everybody knows is happening provides any. It looks more like the routine moral panic than something factual.
Re: blanketing the internet, an estimated 126 million Americans were exposed to this kind of content just on Facebook - https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/30/technology/facebook-googl...
So what? First of all, politicians routinely use deceit to reach their goals, and aren't even ashamed about it. Second, if voting is always good, why achieving it through deceit is so bad? Let's say I know you have a bad diet, and I could through deceit convince you to eat healthier and add 5 years to your lifespan. Would you think it's a bad thing and it'd be better for you to be undeceived but die 5 years earlier?
> an estimated 126 million Americans were exposed to this kind of content just on Facebook
"Exposed" is a weasel word. They are just taking entire US audience of Facebook, and saying since any of those people could have seen this content, let's imply they all did and by implication were influenced by it. But it's baloney. If you take a moment to think, how likely it is that there are 136 million voters in the US, and almost every single one of them was influenced by Facebook? Moreover, you claim that main influence of the fake news is convincing people to vote. Do you imply that absent fake news, only about 10 million people would vote? That's clearly nonsense. So if we believed your hypothesis and NYT numbers, it would be obvious that there's no noticeable influence - we don't have sudden spike of voter turnout comparable to the number of 126 million, if fact we don't have any noticeable spike at all. So either 126 million number is nonsense, or voting turnout hypothesis is nonsense - I think likely both.
And all that for a campaign with a whopping $100K budget? If that were true, why politicians spend billions on their campaigns at all? If you want some more realistic numbers, look here: https://sci-hub.tw/10.1257/jep.31.2.211 - it's in hundredth of a percent. So, about 10-20 thousand people out of hundred millions. That's the likely size of the influence of this phenomenon, and maybe even less since this assumes fake news are as effective as fine-tuned political ads (and they are usually not, if you seen Russian fake news, they're utter crap). So probably around a thousand or so is the real size.
Absolutely not. I would rather people not vote at all than vote based on incorrect information.
It's meaningless, sensational claims all the way down.
I don't think that makes it less relevant in general, but there's nothing "new" here. There doesn't need to be anything new for the point to still be interesting, but it does reveal something about our bias towards the "new" in our political conversation and analysis.
I got involved with the company more than a decade ago and have taken great pride and joy in the company’s success … until the past few months.
All I saw once is a statement that he knows him
Also, not sure what kind of official confirmation you'd expect in this situation. Facebook isn't going to come out in the wake of this and confirm it, as it'd give it more creedence. You should be watching to see if they deny it.
He's an interesting guy. http://www.elevation.com/EP_IT.asp?id=102
 - https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://time.com/5505441/mark-z...
 - https://web.archive.org/web/20190117191830/http://time.com/5...