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How Facebook Screwed Us All


Right-wing sites and clickbait dominate the platform that dominates American news consumption. And that same platform, despite its stated commitment to supporting “quality news,” keeps making it harder for people to find genuine journalism.

Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, Mother Jones

Mother Jones Editor's Note: This essay is the cover story for our March/April issue.  Portions of it appeared earlier here and here.

March/April 2019 Issue | A country riven by ethnic tension. Spontaneous protests driven by viral memes. Violence and riots fueled by hateful fake-news posts, often about “terrorism” by marginalized groups.

It’s a story we’ve seen play out around the world recently, from France and Germany to Burma, Sri Lanka, and Nigeria. The particulars are different—gas prices were the trigger in France, lies about machete attacks in Nigeria—but one element has been present every time: Facebook. In each of these countries, the platform’s power to accelerate hate and disinformation has translated into real-world violence.

Monika Bauerlein is CEO of Mother Jones
and Clara Jeffery is Editor-in-Chief of Mother Jones and recipient of a PEN America award for editing.

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Help enlighten others. Be sure to pass this on to friends and kin. We must break the system's  ability to lie with impunity.