Hatred on social media platform

In last week’s Tech Tent of BBC, it asked the raging question if the social media platform was making our lives worse?

Great names like Google, Facebook and Twitter have been accused of becoming vehicles of lies and hatred after the US presidential elections which is damaging their reputation and commercial future.

Twitter agreed that it had a problem with hate speech and abuse and introduced new measures to allow users to mute certain words and to report the abusers more effectively. The BBC held talk with Sinead McSweeney, the woman in charge of making Twitter a safer place for its European users where she said that the high profile members of some of America’s right-wing groups were suspended only when they broke rules by directing hate towards individuals.

Sinead, who came to the social network after heading communications for the police said, she found it depressing that instead of getting involved in an amiable debate, people have resorted to downright snarkiness and abuse on the platform but she still hopes for a better future of the internet.

Last week, Google was also drawn into the debate of fake news after a story falsely stating that Donald Trump had won the popular vote in the presidential election came top in a Google News search.

On November 15, Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai told the BBC that this was “a learning moment” and that “there should be no situation where fake news should be distributed”. Similarly, Facebook also got embroiled in the fake news controversy.

Yann LeCun, a towering figure in the recent history of artificial intelligence tells about a future where intelligent bots schedule our days and can engage in ever more sophisticated conversations with us.

From now on we may be more inclined to ask whether the algorithms behind virtual assistants and other AI developments are quite as benign and objective as their creators claim.

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