Sheryl Sandberg, Facebooks COO said that over time the platform has learnt from their mistakes and now know how to handle situations better. It is true that experience is in fact, the best teacher.
What she was trying to say is going with the Covid-19 pandemic, Facebook isn’t too worried about the means of dissemination of misinformation on their platform because, misinformation on their platform according to her, is now non existent.
Facebook has however had issues in the past with information, from 2017 to 2019, including during the 2016 United States presidential elections, the company failed to pay attention to the policy of misinformation.
Also, in 2018, the company was rocked by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the world learned that a data firm improperly accessed the data of 87 million Facebook users, and used it as target Advert for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. That scandal resulted in a record-breaking $5 billion fine from the Federal Trade Commission. In 2019, four separate antitrust investigations were launched against the company. They were fine $5 million for that.
The scandal had a huge blowback on Facebook that both Sheryl Sandberg the COO and Mark Zukerberg the CEO of the company.
Sheryl said in light of the on going pandemic, Facebook is doing everything within its power, to do right and maintain a positive status quo.
“We have felt very much under siege, not quite at this level, but knowing that we had a lot to chew very quickly for the last couple of years,” Sandberg said. “And again, I think the pace at which we’ve been working is serving us well during this period.”
Facebook has met with the World Health Organization, to discuss how Silicon Valley can be of assistance. The company has taken down misinformation and it has banned ads for medical masks, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and COVID-19 test kits. The company has also set a lot of programs in place to help its employees now currently working remotely.
“When you think about harmful misinformation, you know years ago we didn’t have the policies to take that information down,” she said. “We learned the hard way that we needed that. We had that in place when COVID-19 came around.”