WWL>Topics>>Think Tank 1210pm, Facebook & News

Think Tank 1210pm, Facebook & News

May 10, 2016|

Facebook may have been deliberately suppressing conservative news. If true, is it legal? Can Facebook be forced to change? This hours guest: Scott Allan Morrison - Scott Allan Morrison was a journalist for almost twenty years, covering politics, business and technology in Mexico, Canada and the United States Dr. Robert Hogan - LSU Professor of Political Science

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Lived through pro mode where you are not. A lot of new going to be conservative. I'm sure a lot of you have always thought the media. Liberal media suppresses. Conservative media. And number of them two in the coal or proof of it but yeah yesterday. Are relatively slow things on FaceBook co official please put and urged that controlled the news streets. Were routinely suppressing stories have been troops too conservative. A think Portland is made by a former employee. As quickly denied by area. FaceBook executives and and again I think. A couple of former MP Louise Woodward there's certain abortion true blood when bush tempers ran I get became ended. I said so why. This there's virtually nothing in today's media. That is liberal conservative you Wendell liberal information. And you will believe Cora opened in poems. One conservative for improvement each and you were gonna believe Gordon Drudge Report. Oh. In reading all the insults and world. He drove a new book called terms of views and bread excerpts of the some abuse and Andy is talks about how large social media company. Might try to swing an election. And I would Korean troops in this were lucky enough because of Scott alone Lawrence and veteran Silicon Valley journalist author of the new Brooke terms abuse got a book of the show. Are. Your soul. Could this type thing really sway an election or. I know your book is fiction but could French and become real. The million dollar question. Well. I spent years covering Silicon Valley and covered it look like a lot of the Internet company. Com and yet and the short answer is they are amassing huge amount of our data that we don't appreciate it. Every time Frontline doctors at Ronald wet and how long and on the web and well look at the site. I mean that there for granular information. About. It. I'll and that data is an incredible. Ability to understand. And and and and buy it if they so throws they can use it in the party. Shelved in the McNamee on our emotions take an experiment. With came out in 2014. That they revealed that the experiment. It was designed to promote that 700000. Users in real people were actually using the site that you know subject to expire. And outlook we did was they. Altered or tweak the emotional content that the post that people on the news sheets and B. AptarGroup saw things that work positive uplifting and happy. The other half all negative and downbeat news story circles are open but concluded that they do to. Manipulating emotion that people on it called sort of the first experimental evidence of massive scale in emotional contagion. Via social networks. Com so that they can. If they can commitment and our motion picture and an opinion. And the story that you reference that that sent the notion that they were. Prepping conservative news. I know with a disturbing story. At the very paper of course that night in and said that oh rigorous guidelines to ensure the consistency neutrality he. Really what happened here that I'm low level contractors. Where where were rejecting in the air whether content or content into the story they were putting up on on Facebook's trendy use suction. You know and it could just very well have been completely the opposite conservative. Meaning employees might have done the same thing and they didn't have much control. At least if you want to be Jenner about how the interpretation. But regardless of whether they're correcting conservative or local news. The fact that that you know that even possible conflict say the ability to set the agenda and potentially impact public opinion. You know and that. Immediately. What is now. A regular media outlet as we think about it you that your record if you if you want liberal. Conservative easy. We look at neutral platform and it Alcatel and so it happened there are very careful and be very careful about. What comes out on FaceBook. And you'd still. The number one news review by far is it no content in the world. Arab provider of I Jews. It could very well be right I don't have data world why. Com you know 220 million active users in the US and Canada every month. On FaceBook and you know it pulls the owner of the top news or among colonial for op and I'm not sure it beat up old. Certainly right up there among Olin you'll get. All the guys. It massively influential. And because you know I think earlier it's a sin to be neutral but I'll. So we earn on our if you will it's a liberal read. Something on fox or conservative read something your how they would have their their their. As a shield in being natural by they'd be on the lookout for these kind. Natural. Pretty kind of life where we don't necessarily think of that FaceBook. Com you know I think knows a lot about that is mentioning. And if they. Do they have the power she's you know tailored. To and decide what we want to see what we don't want to see. Com. On on on argued that they want to manipulate. For example the hypothetical. In the but this is their power if they want to minute it is they would know our interest our puppies are concerned. They have a pretty good idea what buttons to push it wanted to get a certain reaction. And because no outside the company has an inside of Albert the way you know. That the mathematical formula that decide what we don't beat it would be pretty hard for a understand happened. Would that be legal. It legal that appear to think that made me enjoy First Amendment protections just like you know I'm. To express any news there would be no law. That would prevent that from happening. Now they say they won't do it because they would that would have used the users truck. And and you know I think they are right he missed it they are correct in saying that users stop trusting of they would stop using it. On and yet the same time I don't think that we really would understand the line. Or we might not ever understand it if they were doing on it hit it pretty subtle can be very very well and you would not that that would be. For example in in in it in my at all like I forgot that formula Howell. How little you would have to do to actually. Swing an election if if they Ochoa. And again I'm not accusing papers of doing. This is the so hypothetical potential there. We can think about as as a person writing that down the road beer ever more reliant. On these massive Internet site for information. Can come through and we are today and that scores should. Reading ago article where it's like where the people that are now nominees. For president. Starting with Truman. Have been. Given top level security brewery. And a former. CIA executive wondered two positions from the top. Was being interviewed and they said win does that happen themselves and and he's suitable and probably won't happen with crawl these said the it's realistic guy. A reality star. And a couple blab now. And these kids were bureau you'd tell one person something these days. There's a very good chance it's out there. I reiterate butter bread because let's say hypothetically. If somebody had please folks let's do dips. How will we movement to leave wouldn't take two or three you're honored with the people to put the thing together. And would that be brew virtually impossible to keep quiet. And they can incidents. Yeah how well you know that that the good question could. You know. The win in the Robert the road how many people would it take to do and calm you know I pocketed that really take that many people come. A small group would probably get away with an armed if I. Think potentially you know look it has a lot of it guard you know me. This would not be easy to view I'm not suggesting that the public is going well legally in and treat an algorithm and and get it done. But. You know these companies. Cannot. Safeguard and they cannot protect that again. Any attack I mean that they're vulnerable we are all vulnerable to you know attack the manipulation and people that are getting towards them even and eat in the big companies are herbal herbal you know they can't guarantee under percent they won't be packed. On and you know insiders knew it abilities you depart the continue to get away so could've been done. You know I thought that it could be I hope we're wrong frankly. Aren't going to take a break here come back. Couple minutes won't Scott Helen Morrison these road note written a new book called terms abuse. How lord social media to your company might try to swing the election. You'd written it at the same dollar and that FaceBook. Is being accused of centering conservative news. On their nutrients. What do you think two's eggs or 187. Debra yeah. Do we do a lot of true hero in technology. I'm fascinated. With the speed at which things are changing. He did it seem like FaceBook. Came out. Tour two years ago. And all of a sudden inches two huge piece Roland I'm reading. He's copier that says. Very spoken now or injured march moral breeder. Influence over the newspapers. Television networks advertisers. Combined. They have information on drugs in Hume Jim well. Yesterday you big a little bad publicity one of their former workers can mountains. And that pays funk had been centering it and soup for some conservative views. On their news feeds. And done we noticed. A brand new book called turned abuse. Of oh lord social media company might try to swing an election. And the author thankfully that was given some of his valuable time I'm Scott Allen Morrison. It's god. It. This kind of thing if it was intended. And like you and I do have been talking. Might do live gold mine in my room weren't. Would this could be done probably could be done. Is there any way form. People or conferees. Org or businesses to protect themselves against his and the thing. I was reading an article web site on the couch dirty troops. During presidential primaries him the Johnson on on. But this would have the power if that were being done. To be four more powerful than anything else would have been ordered not. Potentially who's done you know the right way you know you want to that. So you know what can we viewed Superman you know FaceBook from exerting you know the kind of control where the site. There have been a lot of suggestions you know some people that we needed digital rights that I don't you know kind of like our. But the other right the initial. Sort of setup principle. The principle but what. Internet companies could and couldn't do with our data the right responsibilities. The companies and aunt and ourselves. You know that that about the possibility. Other that the regulations necessary. Other part of it in half through congress straight hours even in the near future. From there and bump and yet in the new technologies will will make it more Nicole com. You know and protect our privacy in our information. But the one that you know I think Al the most reasonable. Is to encourage large companies are doctor tax incentives or through other means to become quarter and quote information like this year. The of an idea that it is a harbor for by the name adopt a train eat if that is the big picture thing. An ethical. Companies. But the company in the same category at the doctors or lawyers you're always obliged to act in our best interest. You know so that they Wear. You know to abused our trust. And and act in ways that would not do in our interest that it could be held accountable in some way. Because right now there there's nothing really to prevent them from from doing using our data in secret I mean we basically sign away. Pretty much all are right. If you read the terms of you when you sign onto these free and I hate freedom I'm doing air quote my fingers. On the free Internet service and you know we're giving them. The extent that brought legal right to use that data in any way yet. And you know we don't read the terms of use because we really can't do with. We can't be functioning member of society. If we can't access the Internet we can't use Google cat is email we can't you know reader news and you know little over toward the were given to write to click on balk or not click on the box is kind of Ulster and then we have to look now at this point. We are so sucked into the Internet we we can't do without so you know do we change how we change the rules of the game so that it it is more. Evenly balanced and and and more in our favor and I think that the key question going forward. And very important wounded and Babson and vote and subject. I would assume they can get to Byrd turns abuse says Amazon good but how about local bookstores are we gonna get it. The local bookstore and I don't know. I don't have a list of who had my book. But if you want to bite through a local bookstore you can go down. As an independent in deep count on N dot com. And today you can order my book through Burgundy gown and you can pick up the local bookstore or you can go here or happening in order it. It is available like you know the regular to be distributors distributor. And out ultimate aren't the notable. While okay viewed ignored do about that web site. Boy looked it up and Scott again thank you so much good Duncan yeah. Are you. Are gonna come right back Logan talked to a o.'s True Blue appropriate cultural political science. And just had talked to him about blurb all the deuces and cooling. We've got politics. Had that moving at warp speed and technology pushing that. How to we handled it what do we do to ensure. That our vote count and and who we bull bore actually get to register. What do you think your Sig 0187. Well our road thinking about FaceBook bit it'll it'll have a broad different way yesterday of former employee. Where is doing here you interview with the tech news outlet to and journalists. It happened Tuesday. Yeah we EU which settled down rhythm months ago on the news feed. Torre kind of bummed suppresses. Conservative news well of course. Dublin worldwide and when you consider that pays for a good news. Admittedly. Have one point six billion. Users of its news feed and and let's just say that it was being pace group page book. Categorically demise. At least couple of former employees. Have come forward saying docks oh board. Yeah this kind of thing was done. The question becomes. Could do. A national election. Being influenced. Often turn drew or doctor Robert Hogan bill that you propose through political Sorenson took about anything political. Doctors always going to brood is time. We were. What do you think when you heard that did that thought popped into your mind that. If they are doing it they get to have some influence or a lot. Well as social media sites we know have come to play a large role in the presidential campaigns in recent years. I mean looking back you know Barack Obama. His victory in 2008 is is attributable to some extent to choose. Extensive use and effective use of social media sites like FaceBook and other other things like that. This is a way they can then moderate candidates used to contact there potential. Voters. Two. Give them talking points to to turn to help them learn more about issues. That'll hopefully enemy air. You know. Boating. In in the field in the coming election. So I mean social media's the major force in American politics today and and one shouldn't underestimate its its its impacts so when you hear about this story has that one came out yesterday concerning FaceBook. Comment terms. It's you know potential biases regarding. News. Stories that are put on the news the trending news feed. Which I think this is about. You know that sort of give you some pause and I think people may not be fully aware really of of how FaceBook works and how news gets to them. And for this this this raises serious issues about. About information. And what campaigns are doing to try to influence people's opinions about. About issues and about other candidates and campaigns. UC district coming. I know full of of concern. Where the government who were requested to. Two to intervene and put some sort of regulation there. Well I think that I mean what we're finding out it seemed like to me is that. Does the things that are put on the trending list on FaceBook. That the choice of those news Oracle's. Is is not simply by mathematical algorithm but in fact is. Made almost like an editorial that you have people making decisions about what people might be interest it and and to the extent that you know humans are involved and that they're gonna be subject and their biases. And so. You know. You know businesses this is a concern. With lots of different media especially with the old stop me you're right the the television in the upper ready to write that. The fact that. People or concerns that. They may not beginning the full story wore it. Made some some articles or should face some stories are suppressed while others or are talked about a lot. I mean this is this is sort of he got new media here but it sort of an old story right it is it is it is biased and so is information via. And you know there have been calls to to regulate these big old style media and their you know there may be calls stricter regulation year. Although it felt to me like is the nature of the direction of this biased as one. That is is coming from conservatives who urgently dole don't like government regulations I don't see much government intervention. All right. When you take a break here incumbent right bank talk and bud trees and good isn't possible to rig an election. We're doing it about some big quite frankly never dawned on me based book. One point six billion readers of its news feed that I think that from more than news papers television. In the time it advertising. Here in the United States and there were accused yesterday by an ex employee. A surprise sing conservative. News and we just got through in the Buick and area bladder of a book it's fiction birdies and a lot of riding in Silicon Valley. End period it's a story about how wars and lords social media company might try to swing. An election. And record shouldn't be columns. Could could this be one page book was doing Marie is doing it through remembering correctly. They secretly. Manipulated you abusers of motioned that the Gibbs 700000. People tested. And then came out in and gave us some results when they can do with the negative news we have one response positive news the other. So they show that they could literally. Work on our emotions. And the Inca blurb read story of story darkened bowed their willingness to push privacy boundaries. Shall I think about oh good question we have doctor Robert Hogan weather's. Oh Schubert manager of political science. Doctor mode. The only thing let's say you're conservative. Presidential. Candidate. Forum. Trumka the them on Monday. And you'll find is allowed to and you protest. Couldn't FaceBook people say hey look everybody knows if you wanna read liberal slope of been posed. Everybody in those conservative go to Drudge Report. The of the media today in particular national movie is pretty much liberal or conservative. That's the only way they can make money. Would there be an eighty. Legal or or would there be an e-book. That they give protesting get a chain. Missed. Yeah I'm I'm not an attorney and book but it seems to me like I had a I don't see how how they could that mean this is the social media. Tom organization. That. People they'll choose to use or not use. It did maybe a situation where. The way people protest is that they they quit using it or they shift to some other. You know social media. Format. From some other company. 222 you know took it to network or enter into talk and communicate with their friends and I think part of what's going on here I read a statistic today a steady that have been done. Society did in New York Times about 63% of FaceBook users considered FaceBook news source. A lot of people are are getting their information from this from these news seeds. What to what it may be is if you know if if more if there's more to this story if more comes to light. If people start to decide that FaceBook is biased in one way or the other he made his situation where people's list to start to you know. Used other sources to get their news and maybe that it will pay attention the last two the trending list on FaceBook. To get used to to get news stories not words that might lead people used FaceBook in a different way. All right before electric gore can't resist. When they went and civilian president to raise. What what is going on. That what is so angry and why is everything topsy turvy what is going on. I think things are that things are changing and and in the world that people's. Expectations about government I think that the error you know their their confidence since cover in government and all time low you know the stagnation of wages that we see in the economy. People are are seeking out other solutions that perhaps they have a look for in the past and so. I think this is one of the reasons that you're seeing this this extremely peculiar. Primary election process. Has it have played itself out. Out of reducing or a major political party in the united state in the United States. Going through. A major amount of turmoil like we have not seen and in many decades in this country and there's a lot of infighting there's a certain base of support of conservatives support the base of the Republican Party. Some of some of the activists are very happy with with Trump's issue positions. A lot of the activists to complete one win in November or not happy with Trump's. Position on a whole lot of basic on it. It's as basic character issues and answers. The bombastic things that that come out of his mouth. And they are very worried about what that means for the implicate you know what that means for the party future's so it's a very volatile time in in American politics and you know and I'd and I wish I hadn't you know could contain what's gonna happen next but it's it's it's hard pill. Forward and we're going to be and calling him on a regular bases and suing doctoral and blogs can have necked. So thank you were calling in preacher to burn much have a great day. Tyra beauty who's got a group like told the doctor was saying are doubling of the Oprah and judge barred opinion poll. The rural and plays flute for the news that didn't fit. Split right down the middle and bad in compared to pay cheaters. Has changed a lot. It could use to be a very small percentage. When we regret that course and said yes they do and now we're seeing that cupid thing. Introducing stable lists and opened up DO. Our I don't gory scope is next. Is gonna have screws them. Oracle. Everything you need to know oil and more bumpy you know presidential. Primary. Talk about trump breaking with the GOP a lot of key issues and more stable of this but a bit old brigade seventy immortal blood three and then there have been a great day.