Impact of Social Media on Politics – UPSC GS3

Context: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology questioned Facebook officials over allegations that the algorithm promotes one political party.
Concerns with Facebook Algorithms:
  • Misuse for Political Advertising: Political campaigns, political action committees, and private citizens with their own agendas now have a new way to target voters via online platforms. As concerns about fake news stories arose, the political role of Facebook and the other internet giant, Google, was called into question.
  • Threat to User Privacy: Online platforms that make money from targeted advertising are in the business of collecting as much personal data about their users as possible. Users have no way of stopping Facebook from collecting their personal information, which is a violation of their privacy.
  • Spreading Harmful Content: Online platforms have created the world’s largest forum for bad actors to post and spread violent and extremist content, fake news, and misinformation. According to some reports, flaws in Facebook’s algorithms have resulted in an epidemic of fake news and hate speech.
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