By paulgillin | February 29, 2024 - 5:17 pm - Posted in Uncategorized

CNN Senior Media Reporter Oliver Darcy has a searing send-up of the free pass legislators and the reading public give to social media companies while holding mainstream outlets to higher standards.

Noting the recent shutdown of The Messenger, layoffs at the already tottering BuzzFeed and the gutting of one-time high-flyer Vice, Darcy contrasts the principles these outlets are expected to uphold with the sewer that is big social media.

Photo: Unsplash

“Time and time again, companies like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat and others have been caught allowing harmful content to exist on their platforms,” he writes. “In many cases, such content has not only been permitted to exist but turbocharged via powerful algorithms. Child exploitation? Check. Promoting eating disorders? Check. Batshit crazy conspiracy theories that radicalize audiences? Check.”

Yet when confronted about this bad behavior, executives at these firms feign ignorance or hide behind the First Amendment. The New York Times would be pilloried for promoting child exploitation, but the same stuff gets by on Facebook and Instagram with a wink and a nod.

“News organizations, crucial to a functioning society, are being hollowed out if not outright dying. Meanwhile, technology giants, which have allowed harmful content to gain a foothold in the digital public square, are thriving,” Darcy writes. Sadly, the consuming public sees nothing wrong with this double standard.

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