Are Facebook and Twitter doing enough to protect its users?

Donald Trump
Following Donald Trump's recent suspension from Twitter, are social media platforms doing enough? Source: Gage Skidmore (via Wikimedia Commons)
Donald Trump's Twitter account was suspended permanently, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence”. The question still remains - are social media companies doing enough to protect their users?

By Tirion Davies | Editor-in-Chief

It was announced on January 6, following violent riots at the U.S. Capitol Building, that President Trump’s Twitter account would be banned for 12 hours.

At the time, the tech company stated it would permanently revoke Trump’s account if he continued to breach their guidelines. On January 8, Twitter said they had permanently suspended the account, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence”.

After the initial 12-hour suspension, Mr Trump posted two tweets addressing the storming of the Capitol Building and calling all those involved “patriots”. Soon after these tweets were released, the account was suspended permanently.

Many took to Twitter soon after the news broke, with many stating it was long overdue; others, however, believed the suspension could have happened sooner – and some even suggested an earlier suspension of the account could have avoided violence by his supporters, including the storming of the Capitol Building.

During November’s 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, Twitter introduced a feature that would note if tweets from candidates such as Trump or Biden were factually incorrect. A step forward, many noted, but still, one some believed had come too soon.

Big tech giants such as Twitter and Facebook (who own companies like Instagram) have been increasingly under fire for years for the content they allow on their social media platforms.

Tech and social media companies like Facebook, in particular, have been found to be big sites for the spread of fake news. News stories from across the globe, spreading incorrect information, have spread across these platforms easily, with little interference by these big tech companies.

Misinformation can spread easily amongst social media users who have no further sources; Facebook and Twitter in particular have been accused of not being vigilant enough to the spread of misinformation on their platforms.

Twitter and Facebook have also been just some tech companies that have been found to be taking insufficient action to stop the spread of hate speech through their platforms.

Although rules are in place whereby users are able to report hate speech, many have claimed these big tech companies are not doing enough to stop hate speech. For some, the action taken by social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook haven’t been enough, with hate speech remaining unchecked in many instances.

Although rules were put in place in the last two years by the Advertising Standards Authority whereby any sponsored content would need to be recognised as such, advertisements on social media still remains a controversial topic.

Advertisements on social media platforms can be misleading, can spread false claims and can advertise content which can be harmful to younger users. Often, despite a requirement to state sponsorship and advertisements, influencers on social media platforms will neglect to include the required #ad and can note false claims about the products they are advertising.

Followers of influencers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter will often be bombarded with sponsorships with products suggesting weight loss benefits. Many of these products have been found to be harmful, with younger users of these platforms using the products to their own detriment.

Instagram has yet to ban the sponsorships of weight loss products.

Social media giants such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are beginning to change the way their platforms work but one thing is certain – these big tech companies should be more vigilant of problems on their platforms.

O ganlyniad i’r terfysgoedd ar y Capitol yn America, cyhoeddodd Trydar ar Ionawr 6 ei bod wedi crogiannu cyfrif Trydar yr Arlywydd Donald Trump am 12 awr.

Ar Ionawr 8, cyhoeddodd y cwmni ei bod wedi crogiannu’r cyfrif yn barhaol, yn poeni y bydd cyfrif Trump yn achosi fwy o drais, ar ôl i Trump cyhoeddi dwy tweet yn dilyn y terfysgoedd.

Yr oedd nifer yn teimlo dylai bod y crogiannu wedi digwydd yn gynharach, yn nodi os nad oedd y cyfrif ar gael, mae’n debyg na fydd cymaint o drais wedi digwydd tra’r oedd Trump yn swyddogaeth.

Yn ystod yr Etholiad Arlywyddol ym mis Tachwedd 2020, cyhoeddodd Trydar ei bod am nodi os oedd tweet gan un o’r ymgeiswyr yn dangos gwybodaeth wallus. I nifer, newid llwyddiannus oedd hwn; i eraill, roedd angen i’r cwmni wneud fwy i wrthod y wybodaeth wallus.

Mae cwmnïoedd cyfryngau cymdeithasol megis Facebook, Trydar ac Instagram wedi bod yn rhan o lawer o gwestiynau dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf am eu moesegau a’r hyn yr oeddynt yn rhannu ar eu cyfryngau.

I gwmnïoedd megis Facebook, mae lledaeniad gwybodaeth wallus wedi bod yn broblem anferthol. Mae straeon newyddion o wledydd ar draws y byd sydd wedi’i ledaenu ar draws Facebook wedi’i ddarganfod yn newyddion ffug.

Gall newyddion ffug cael ei lledaenu ar draws cyfryngau cymdeithasol yn hawdd, yn benodol os oes defnyddwyr heb ffynonellau eraill i’w wirio. Er hyn, mae Facebook, Trydar ac Instagram yn gorfod bod yn fwy gofalus i wrthod y lledaeniad o newyddion ffug ar draws y byd.

Mae Trydar a Facebook wedi’i ddarganfod i beidio gwirio rhag trolio. Er bod yr hawl gan ddefnyddwyr i gofnodi os ydynt yn weld gwybodaeth niweidiol, mae’n rhaid i gyfryngau cymdeithasol wneud mwy i’w wrthod rhag bod ar eu llwyfannau.

I gwmnïoedd fawr gyfryngau cymdeithasol, megis Instagram, Trydar a Facebook, mae pethau wedi’i ddechrau newid. Er hyn, mae dal mwy mae’n rhaid iddynt ei wneud.

Dylai bod y rhai sy’n rhedeg y cyfryngau cymdeithasol yn fwy effro am y problemau ar eu llwyfannau.

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