Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa has used her new prominence to criticise Facebook as a threat to democracy, saying the social media giant fails to protect against the spread of hate and disinformation and is “biased against facts”.
The veteran journalist and head of Philippine news site Rappler told Reuters in an interview after winning the award that Facebook’s algorithms “prioritise the spread of lies laced with anger and hate over facts”.
Her comments add to the pile of recent pressure on Facebook, used by more than 3 billion people, which a former-employee-turned-whistleblower accused of putting profit over the need to curb hate speech and misinformation. Facebook denies any wrongdoing.
Sought for comment regarding Ressa’s remarks, a Facebook spokesperson said the social media giant continues to invest heavily to remove and reduce the visibility of harmful content.
“We believe in press freedom and support news organisations and journalists around the world as they continue their important work,” the spokesperson added.