A group of researchers found that the majority of the world’s biggest social media platforms are pushing antisemitic and hateful content in spite of their official policies against hate speech. Studies by the Anti-Defamation League and the Tech Transparency Project found that the programming on three out of the four biggest social media platforms was actually pushing hateful content on their users. And, the most harmful content was being recommended for teens.
Class discussion: Social media pays for its “free service” by designing algorithms to keep users on their sites as long as possible to target them with advertising. Do these programs reinforce a user’s viewpoint by only showing them posts they agree with? What if these posts are full of misinformation, conspiracy theories or hateful messages? Has social media helped turn some users into religious or political extremists? How can you protect yourself from harmful content on social media?