US Elections 2016: Facebook Might Have Been Responsible for Donald Trump's Win
There is no denying how the results of the recent U.S. presidential elections came as a shock not only to Americans but to the whole world. Donald Trump's victory is unprecedented especially considering how the democratic candidate Hillary Clinton seemed to have the endorsement of most popular influencers.
In the last three days, many have been left to ask the question "What happened?" Truly there are many factors that contributed to Donald Trump's win. However, there is one reason that seems to be different from the rest -- Facebook.
Last November 9, 2016, Business Insider published a report explaining the reason why Facebook might have a hand in the recent election results. According to the report, Facebook's algorithm is designed to show what the preferences of an individual account. In essence, if you are a republican favoring Donald Trump you would most likely see content mentioning your candidate - true or not. The article argues that the algorithm is problematic considering how individuals can be swayed by false reports and information.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, has since spoken out about the outcry surrounding the social media's effect on the election upset. In a speech delivered during the Technomy conference, he explained that the idea his social media platform influenced the results of the presidential ballots is nothing short of ridiculous. He believes that people are intrinsically smart and are able to seek out substantial information beyond what is on their newsfeed.
"Personally, I think the idea that fake news on Facebook, it's a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea. If you believe that, then I don't think you've internalized the message that Trump supporters are trying to send. Why would you think that there'd be fake news on one side and not the other?" quipped Zuckerberg as reported by Business Insider.