Daily Management Review

Facebook Benefitting Financially From Fake Pandemic News Spreaders On Its Platform


Facebook Benefitting Financially From Fake Pandemic News Spreaders On Its Platform
It has been alleged that the social media platform Facebook is continuing to give the opportunity to its users to make money from the spread of potentially dangerous false theories and misinformation related to the Covid-19 pandemic and its vaccines including allowing users to deploy money-raising tools on pages that have content that have been flagged as being inappropriate even by the factcheckers of the company.
There were 450 pages that have almost 45 million followers were openly using Facebook’s tools, including virtual “shops” and fan subscriptions even while those pages had posts that were apparently false and providing misinformation about Covid-19 pandemic ort its vaccines, found an investigation in the matter.
Last year, Facebook gad pledged that it would not allow any individual or company to profit from spreading false information about the vaccination process against the pandemic.
Incomes made on Facebook are not generally shared by the company even though it sometimes takes a cut while also benefitting financially from users engaging with content and remaining on the company’s services as they are exposed to more ads.
It is likely that only a tiny part of the huge amount of monetised misinformation on Facebook related to the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccines have been uncovered by the investigations conducted by the London-headquartered Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
The examples brought to its attention were being investigated by the company said a Facebook spokesman, and added that it had “removed a small number of the pages shared with us for violating our policies”.
The spokesman however added that Facebook rules were not violated by many of the posts that had been identified as misinformation. No further details were provided.
“Our initial investigation shows a large number of the pages flagged had zero violations against our harmful misinformation policies, and we’d dispute the overall accuracy of the data being provided,” he said.
Sites for comedians and religious leaders, social media personalities and traditional media reporters were among the pages identified in the investigation.
Misinformation about vaccines was found in more than 260 of the pages the bureau identified. The rest of the pages were filled with false information on the Cvoid-19 pandemic as well as on vaccines in a much broader way or even a combi9nation of the two topics. Facebook’s blue tick signalling authenticity was granted to more than 20 pages that were identified.
According to Dr. Claire Wardle, executive director of First Draft, a US-based non-profit organisation pitted against misinformation spread online and which also participated in the investigation by the bureau, the fact that Facebook is offering its users more ways to t generate revenues from content is a strategy of the company to draw more users to use its platform and not shift to its rivals.
But the higher participation of people on its platform as well as those brands and individuals spreading misinformation is also financially beneficial for Facebook. The social media company takes a cut of between 5 per cent and 30 per cent on its Stars currency – a digital currency that is used by fans to tip creators who stream live video.