A news columnist, Froma Harrop, announced her intention to leave Facebook. She’s leaving because she believes Facebook has become a platform for fake news.
At the same time, Mark Zuckerberg, head of Facebook, has posted (on Facebook) an announcement that his company is acting to curb false news stories. It is, he said, developing new tools to detect and classify “misinformation.” Further, he has said, the company won’t accept adds that are “illegal, misleading or deceptive.”
Possibly the problem is with the “friends” concept. Facebook may fit comfortably among a group of actual friends, brought together by some kind of kinship. It runs aground when it becomes an advertising center for businesses or political parties. Calling customers or potential voters our “friends,” when we do not even know them, degrades the word.
For the moment, I am still on Facebook. I have decided, however, that I will not like or click approval of any product or any unknown opinion piece. In fact, I will limit my viewing to personal notes from actual friends. And my time on Facebook will be minimal.