Facebook turns 20

Sharing, liking, commenting: for two decades people have been posting their lives on Facebook, the social network with the most users worldwide, whose company Meta has a market capitalisation pushing one trillion US dollars. Facebook has repeatedly come under fire over data protection, hate speech and opaque algorithms. Commentators look at how the social network has changed the world and our view of it.

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Tygodnik Powszechny (PL) /

The company must assume more responsibility

Facebook has not done enough to counter its dark side, Tygodnik Powszechny criticises:

“The problems that Facebook and other social media have caused in the world are increasing at both the macro and micro level. The two most important are disinformation and polarisation, the effects of which every democratic country in the world has no doubt felt, whether during election campaigns or the Covid-19 pandemic. On a micro level, there has been a wave of suicides of young people who could not cope with the online harassment of their peers. There is plenty of evidence that Facebook could have tried harder to prevent all this.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

Real protection for underage users needed

The Irish Times insists:

“We must approach children's online lives with the same care, attention and supervision that we apply to their offline lives. ... We need robust regulation of Big Tech. The onus has to be on tech companies to introduce age-assurance measures to eradicate underage users as well as better protect younger users, to address the addictive nature of their services for children and adults, and to fix the reality that their algorithm-driven content recommendations can cause real harm to child and other vulnerable users.”

Delfi (LV) /

Dangers of fake videos underestimated

People are increasingly taking information on social media at face value, Delfi comments in concern:

“Ever since people began to be half-conscious of themselves, they have trusted what they see more than what they are told or what they read. ... An understandable and sometimes even justified way of seeing things, but the problem is that increasingly what we see is often no longer real. ... In other words, on the one hand more and more people are choosing to perceive the world through visual images, trusting that 'the eyes don't lie', but on the other it turns out that they do lie, and they lie ever more skilfully. ... We haven't yet fully grasped the consequences of these trends.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

All about business

Zuckerberg's plans must be subject to stringent monitoring, La Vanguardia stresses:

“The founder of Facebook has repeatedly had to explain himself in court and pay millions in fines. He is no longer a young idealist but a mature businessman looking to increase his profits. ... But not all means may be employed to this end. Governments must keep a close eye on him to ensure that he doesn't violate people's right to privacy, honour, data protection and truthful information. ... What is indisputable is that twenty years ago Facebook changed the way almost half of the world's population communicates, that it is still here and that it continues to grow.”