A new article by Karen Hao in the Technology Review explores “how Facebook and Google fund global misinformation.” It argues that “the tech giants are paying millions of dollars to the operators of clickbait pages,” thereby “bankrolling the deterioration of information ecosystems around the world.”
From the Article:
“In 2015, six of the 10 websites in Myanmar getting the most engagement on Facebook were from legitimate media, according to data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook-run tool. A year later, Facebook (which recently rebranded to Meta) offered global access to Instant Articles, a program publishers could use to monetize their content.
One year after that rollout, legitimate publishers accounted for only two of the top 10 publishers on Facebook in Myanmar. By 2018, they accounted for zero. All the engagement had instead gone to fake news and clickbait websites. . . .
It was during this rapid degradation of Myanmar’s digital environment that a militant group of Rohingya—a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority—attacked and killed a dozen members of the security forces, in August of 2017.