Tech industry workers tend to be young, have higher education, and defend ideologically progressive positions

Twitter’s decision to verify a message from President Donald Trump for the first time not only sparked the president’s anger, it also revealed the divergent strategies between the blue bird social network and its main rival, Facebook.

For years, the two social networks that concentrate most of the public debate online shared the same premise: they saw themselves as a platform in which Internet users had to be able to use their freedom of expression almost without restrictions, and therefore his moderating efforts should be limited to the maximum.

This vision, however, began to criticize them for their permissiveness with false information, especially after the 2016 US presidential campaign, in which Russian hackers used Facebook to influence election results.

Despite being in the eye of the hurricane since then, it has been in the last year when Twitter and Facebook policies have distanced themselves the most, with the first assuming that they should be more deeply involved in the content shared in their platform and the second one remaining faithful to its non-intervention posture.

“We have a different policy than Twitter in this regard. I strongly believe that Facebook should not set itself up as an arbiter of the truth about everything people say online.”Assured in an interview to the thread of the controversy of this week the cofounder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.

The concept of “arbiter of truth” has been used on several occasions by the social network to defend itself against those who ask for further intervention, and rIt rings loud among conservative circles in the US, where the apparent “progressive bias” is feared from the tech industry have their views censored or you consider “false information”.

Precisely the supposed anti-conservative bias of Silicon Valley is something that Trump and his environment have been denouncing for a long time, and that, after the Twitter episode, He motivated him to ask his government to study whether some legal protections enjoyed by social networks can be withdrawn.

Workers in the technology industry tend to be young, have higher education, live in large coastal cities like San Francisco or Seattle and defend ideologically progressive positions, therefore, conservatives understand that their “verification” of the information would in no case be neutral.

The divergence of strategies between Facebook and Twitter explains that, for example, Trump hung exactly the same message about alleged irregularities in The vote by mail in California on both social networks on Tuesday, but while Twitter decided to mark it with a verification alert, Facebook did nothing.

The firm headed by Zuckerberg follows an explicit policy of not verifying messages from political personalities unless they directly attack against their internal use rules (for example, encouraging violence or trying to prevent the vote of certain groups).

Another aspect in which the policies of both companies differ substantially is that of paid ads for political campaigns, prohibited since last October on Twitter, but they are allowed on Facebook instead Furthermore, the company does not verify them, so a politician can lie to them if he wants to.

“We will continue to report incorrect or dubious information about elections around the world. This does not make us arbiters of the truth “, his CEO, Jack Dorsey, defended himself on Twitter after the veiled reference hours before Zuckerberg.

“Our intention is to connect the points between contradictory statements and display disputed information so that people can judge for themselves“Riveted the head of the blue bird social network.

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