Facebook is harnessing the power of its very own newsfeed to do some damage control and improve on its image as it appears to users.
The Big Tech company's CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is not a stranger to Congress, reportedly approved last month an initiative named "Project Amplify," which aims to use the social media network's news feed to promote positive stories about Facebook to its own users.
"Project Amplify" was a plan that was unveiled to executives at an internal meeting in January, Fox News reported. Several Facebook executives were left "shocked" by the new initiative, an attendee who knew what transpired, reported. This would be the first time Facebook would use its own news feed to promote positive news stories about itself.
Aside from promoting positive stories about the platform to users, Facebook's "Project Amplify" also called for the promotion of some posts written by its own employees. Users would be able to see these posts that are marked with the company's logo that would link to stories written by the company or a local news outlet. Facebook reportedly tested the initiative in three cities in the United States after Zuckerberg approved it in August.
Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne explained that "Project Amplify" was "a test for an informational unit clearly marked as coming from Facebook." He added that the Big Tech giant's initiative was "similar to corporate responsibility initiatives people see in other technology and consumer products."
"Project Amplify" was established after Facebook was plunged into several controversies, including issues on user privacy, hate speech, misinformation, election interference, and most importantly, censorship of the nation's highest level leader: former President Donald Trump.
According to Breitbart, Facebook has "taken a number of steps to change the narrative surrounding the company" through "aggressive moves to reshape the company's image."
Former Facebook public policy director Katie Harbath said of the new initiative, "They're realizing that no one else is going to come to their defense, so they need to do it and say it themselves."
But a Fast Company op-ed, which aptly calls out Facebook by saying "Everyone knows you're villains. Just embrace it," argues that the Big Tech giant has finally "[realized] its apologies have long since become rote and meaningless."
However, Facebook still "betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of what's supposed to happen after one stops apologizing for their behavior," which is to "commit to sweeping positive changes or embrace villainy outright." The Big Tech giant, which obviously should go for the latter, appears to desperately still cling to its "goodness."
Facebook has fallen under scrutiny for hiding a report that detailed the site's top posts during the first quarter of 2021, for being fully aware of the harmful psychological impact on teenage girls, for allowing human traffickers to use its platform, and for allowing a special group of whitelisted users to bypass content moderation. The list appears to go on and on.
Even MSNBC is telling its audience, "delete [y]our accounts," because to them, it's "past time" that people did. It argued, "Increasingly, what may seem and feel like an organic social experience for users has - over several years - proven to be a carefully coordinated experiment for Facebook executives, with worrying and sometimes harmful results."