Social media’s attempt to stop false information around a New York Post story on Joe Biden and his son has left them open to censorship allegations.
“Content moderation didn’t work here, even if if you look at it as the only go goal is to stop the spread,” said Bret Schafer, ASD’s Media and Digital Disinformation Fellow. “It didn’t do that. And then I would say it backfired tremendously because you took a story that likely would have only resonated with some of the president’s core supporters. And you blew it up into an issue about censorship.”
Schafer told Newsy that social media companies “didn’t have any good options” to deal with the Post story that didn’t risk the spread of more false information.
“The systems they have built, they are just so easy to weaponize because everything is driven around virality. It is driven around engagement. And so a story like this that is salacious, that is going to have an initial surge, but that initial surge is then going to create this domino effect,” Schafer said.