social media

Internal Facebook Documents Leaked, Drive Focus on Social Media Misinformation

NBC Universal, Inc.

In the wake of the release of "The Facebook Papers,” the government is taking a closer look not just at the Silicon Valley social media giant, but at social media as a whole.

Chelsey Jordan and Anna know what's cool these days. The Santa Clara University students say Facebook for old people, Instagram is where it’s at for them. 

But in a week of just about everyone lashing out at Instagram, you might have missed this -- hearings looking at Tik Tok, Snapchat and Youtube.

In other words, "This is a toxic relationship we just can't quit,” said Matt Cabot, social media professor at SJSU

Social media of all kinds is in the spotlight.

"I think everyone is concerned about the power that these various platforms have,” said Cabot. “Whether it's Facebook or Tic Tok or whatever, people are concerned because it actually can damage our kids."

And, while part of the now infamous "Facebook Papers" focuses on the fraught relationship between teens and social media, and another part focuses on parent company Facebook's relentless push for profit.

NBC Bay Area's Raj Mathai spoke to Business and Tech Reporter Scott Budman about the hold social media has on us all.

"Facebook's business is predicated on this model where you need to spend as much time on the platform as possible for them to make money, and the way they do that is by showing you emotive content, things that make you happy or sad or angry,” said Sheera Frenkel of the New York Times and co-author of “An Ungly Truth”.

Jordan and Anna say the kids, or in this case the teens, are alright. 

"I feel like I'm mostly able to filter it out,” said Jordan. “I mean, if I see it on social media I'm not gonna be like, automatically that's true."

NBC Bay Area spoke to Facebook about this Wednesday and the company said yes -- they’re a for-profit business, but not at the expense of people's safety or well-being.

The company says it's addressing social media concerns, partly by spending $5 billion this year on safety and security measures to keep people safe on the platforms.

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