Verum had finished her homework quite early today. The rest of the day smelt of freedom and leisure. The bliss of dozing off while staring out of the window overtook Verum. Soon, she was gently snoring, momentarily lost to the world.
A few minutes later, Orak walked into the Mystical dorm room. Only Verum was in the room and she was fast asleep. Orak thought to himself, “Ah, the bliss of some quiet!” He took out a book and started reading with great concentration.
Suddenly, a beeping sound filled the room. Orak noticed it came from Verum’s corner. He sighed and went up to a sleeping Verum and shook her. He said, “Oi, Verum, it’s time for world-gazing! Your crystal ball is calling you!”
Verum woke up with a jerk. She rushed to her crystal ball and focused on understanding the news. She said, “After Frances Haugen testified against Facebook in the United States, another former-employee has testified against the social media giant in the British Parliament.”
“Wow, Facebook is really in trouble, isn’t it?” said Orak, “Tell us more!”
“Haugen claimed that Facebook prioritized its growth as a company over the safety of its users,” said Verum, “In a similar direction, Sophie Zhang, a former data scientist at Facebook, also claimed that the social media platform was turning a blind eye to disinformation campaigns to make more profit. Zhang was later fired. Let me explain in detail.”
“Zhang worked for Facebook Site Integrity fake engagement team. Her job involved dealing with bots. Bots are autonomous programs, these are programs that can run independently without direct human control. They can interact with users,” said Verum, “Political figures and governments often use these bots to negatively influence the people.”
“That’s scary,” said Scorch, “What is Facebook doing about it?”
“According to Zhang, not enough. During her time with Facebook, it was easier to delete fake accounts not related to political figures,” said Verum, “Moreover, there are gaps in Facebook’s policy. Facebook does check if personal accounts are authentic or not, but it doesn’t have a policy for Pages set up for brands or individuals. This allows politicians to influence political debates that take place online.”
“That doesn’t sound ethical,” said Felix, “Keep us updated if there is further information.”