Facebook has taken steps to limit the spread of propaganda and fake news over the past several months but it turns out that at least one stockholder is not convinced the efforts have been genuine. That's according to new reports, following statements from early Facebook backer Roger McNamee, who says that CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Vice President of Ads Rob Goldman are spinning rhetoric rather than accomplishing anything. Moreover, McNamee is concerned that Zuckerberg is effectively committing some form of "malpractice" with the company's position as a gathering place for social information sharing. In fact, he goes so far as to say that they seem either unable or unwilling to really address the platform's problems. Facebook has been under a scrutiny for its apparent complicity in the use of its social platform as a means to spread foreign-funded political advertising during the lead up to the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.
Many have claimed the underlying goal of that campaign was to influence the outcome of that election, while others have said it was intended to create discord and to generate mistrust. McNamee doesn't appear to be concerned about either scenario. Instead, his focus seems to be on the underlying problems with misinformation. He may have a point, given how widespread use of the social media site and apps are and the fact that social platforms have a tendency to create echo chambers. Having said that, as mentioned above, Facebook has previously implemented various new algorithms and tools for what it calls the fight against misinformation. Some of those actions have resulted in serious drops in the number of active users on the platform. Among those actions was a new tool which sought to flag possibly misleading stories as fake news. That project was short-lived, with Zuckerberg dismissing it as ineffective and shutting it down in December.
Whether or not there is any truth to McNamee's statements, Facebook has caught a substantial amount of blowback from both its subscribers and the more general public. Governing agencies and businesses have also weighed in on matters. Meanwhile, nearly every step taken so far has been denounced by either side of the argument and ultimately failing. It's not immediately clear whether Facebook will carry on trying to put an end to the use of social media for the spread of misinformation or foreign influence and the company has yet to respond to McNamee's remarks.