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Essential research on Facebook problems in 2021 – Source

Growing concerns about misinformation, emotional manipulation and psychological harm came to a head this year when Haugen released internal company documents showing that the company’s own research confirmed the societal and individual harm its Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms cause.

The Conversation gathered four articles from our archives that delve into research that explains Meta’s problematic behavior.

1. Addicted to engagement

At the root of Meta’s harmfulness is its set of algorithms, the rules the company uses to choose what content you see. The algorithms are designed to boost the company’s profits, but they also allow misinformation to thrive.

The algorithms work by increasing engagement – in other words, by provoking a response from the company’s users. Indiana University’s Filippo Menczer, who studies the spread of information and misinformation in social networks, explains that engagement plays into people’s tendency to favor posts that seem…

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