Facebook: Are we bad for democracy?

Facebook posted the first in a series of posts on its newsroom page about democracy and social media. It starts with an admission from the product manager for civic engagement at Facebook.

"During the U.S. 2016 election, organizations based in Russia turned social media into an information weapon to undermine America democracy," Facebook's Samidh Chakrabarti says in the video. "This was a new kind of threat that was hard to predict—but we should have."

He adds Facebook was also used to spread hoaxes and misinformation. So Facebook is asking: is social media good or bad for democracy?

"I think Facebook is a good idea for democracy," said Jon Friedman, a journalism instructor at Stony Brook University and Hunter College. "People coming together on a social media platform is a good thing, however like all good things it has its limits and bad people take over."

Friedman said Facebook should find a way to be more vigilant about who can join and what they post. Facebook said it is doing just that.

"We're working with third-party fact-checkers so that they can help us identify which stories are false," Chakrabarti says, adding that Facebook then limits the distribution of those stories on the platform.

Facebook is encouraging your input to ensure it keeps its mission of giving people a platform to speak their minds.