Facebook Under Fire for Russian Interference

Digital Deceit.JPG

Facebook is facing more criticism following detailed reports of how the Russian government infiltrated U.S. social media platforms during the 2016 election. The report cites Facebook as the target for Russian bots far more than any other social media site.

Since the Florida school shooting last week, we see evidence of Russian bots weighing in on gun control. Experts say these efforts are to divide the American people on political issues and are "casting public doubt on institutions such as the police or the media."

Facebook is taking action, but it's been slow, and experts wonder how much the company can do at this point. A Wired article details Facebook's journey to accountability, with much time spent in denial. Now, Facebook promises to verify accounts for election ads, but critics say it won't be enough.

In a report, Facebookers point to inherent problems with the platform:

“The central problem of disinformation corrupting American political culture is not Russian spies or a particular social media platform,” they write. “The central problem is that the entire industry is built to leverage sophisticated technology to aggregate user attention and sell advertising.

“There is an alignment of interests between advertisers and the platforms. And disinformation operators are typically indistinguishable from any other advertiser. Any viable policy solutions must start here.”


  • What's your view of the situation and Facebook's responsibility. Is the company doing enough?
  • How could Facebook re-envision its platform to avoid the problem of infiltrators on the site?
  • Read the report, Digital Deceit. What business communication principles are followed, and how could the report be improved?