University Of Oregon Professor Warns Users Against Facebook For Its 'Dangerously Manipulated' World View


A University of Oregon assistant professor has spoken up against Facebook's News Feed. This comes after the social networking giant has faced several criticisms on how it handles and censors content.

The Register Guard reported that University of Oregon's Nicole Dahmen has warned users about Facebook's New Feed. She noted that the things that users see on the site may not be as trustworthy as one might think.

"Facebook wants you to think you're getting everything," Dahmen said. "They call it a 'news feed.' It's set up to look credible."

She added that what the 1.13 billion Facebook users are actually getting daily is a "dangerously manipulated" world view. Dahmen's claims are not unfounded.

This year alone, Facebook has faced a lot of backlash for lapses on censorship on the site. Recently, it censored a photograph of a historical event and has mistakenly presented tabloid hoaxes as news. Moreover, the social networking giant was said to have manipulated the emotions of its users as part of a covert experiment.

According to Digital Trends, just last month, Facebook became a laughingstock for the failure of its algorithm to discern real news from the fake. The social networking site published a 9/11 conspiracy article which claimed that the Sep. 11 attacks were caused by "bombs... planted in [the] Twin Towers."

"We're aware a hoax article showed up there," a spokesperson for the website said. They were able to remove the topic as a "temporary step to resolving" the issue.

The issue is that 44 percent of Americans get their news from Facebook. If the site continues to wrongly ban the real news and promote tabloid articles, Dahmen said that it risks the "crumbling of our democracy."

In September, a Norwegian journalist posted a Pulitzer Prize-winning 1972 photograph of a 9-year-old "Napalm girl." She was pictured running down the road in Vietnam in the aftermath of an airstrike.

Facebook took down the photo, explaining that it violated the company's "community standards" because the girl was not wearing clothes. This sparked outrage because, as Norway's prime minister Erna Solberg put it, it "[edits] our common history."

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