Las Vegas –
Facebook played a role in the arrival at the White House of Donald Trump, who knew how to take the best strategy in the largest social network in the world, estimated an executive of the company, who however warned against very drastic changes in the rules of the platform .
"Was Facebook responsible for the election of Donald Trump?" Asks Andrew Bosworth in a long paper dedicated to his colleagues.RELATED
"I think the answer is yes, but not for the reasons everyone thinks," he replies in the text titled "Reflections for 2020," released on Tuesday first by the New York Times and then by the author himself.
Bosworth, considered part of the intimate circle of advisors to Mark Zuckerberg, head of Facebook, argues that the US president was not elected by a disinformation campaign by Russia or the Cambridge Analytica company. He won, according to him, because he carried out "the best digital advertising campaign" he has ever seen.
Facebook has been strongly criticized for not having stopped the misinformation during the 2016 presidential campaign; and in the face of the 2020 elections in the United States, the group multiplies efforts to fight manipulati on attempts on its platforms.
But Trump's campaign did not resort to "misinformation or deception" in 2016, Bosworth emphasizes. "They only used the tools we made available" more effectively, he says.
Because the social network has not changed its rules on political announcements in the face of the presidential elections in 2020, "the same result could be reached" this year, says the executive, who stresses that he actively supports the Democratic opposition.
But "tempting as it is to use the tools available to change the outcome, I am sure we should never do that or we will become what we fear," he adds.
"That doesn't mean there isn't a line" drawn by Facebook, Bosworth warns, mentioning the example of incitement to violence.
But "if we change the outcome (of an election) without really convincing those who will be governed, then we have a democracy only on paper. If we limit the information to which people have access and what they can say, then we do not have a democracy at all, "he says. (I)