With Facebook’s announcement that its Oversight Board will make a decision about whether former President Donald Trump can regain access to his account after the company suspended it, this and other high-profile moves by technology companies to address misinformation have reignited the debate about what responsible self-regulation by technology companies should look like.
Research shows three key ways social media self-regulation can work: deprioritize engagement, label misinformation, and crowdsource accuracy verification.
Social media platforms are built for constant interaction, and the companies design the algorithms that choose which posts people see to keep their users engaged. Studies show falsehoods spread faster than truth on social media, often because people find news that triggers emotions to be more engaging, which makes it more likely they will read, react to, and share such news. This effect gets amplified through algorithmic recommendations.