Facebook is far more powerful than its hundreds of millions of users realise. „It’s a very scary fact that Facebook has the power to make or break companies or individuals.” That’s a warning from internet expert Danny Mekić on the social network’s tenth anniversary.
„Because who decides what information you are shown?” Behind the scenes, Facebook is in total control of the information users do and do not get to see, Mekić explains. If this immensely popular social medium decides it doesn’t like a company or a person, it’s a small effort to make their posts disappear from the timeline.
That decision is made in secret. „Facebook doesn’t release any information about this at all, because that’s not required. That makes this clandestine gatekeeper position all the more dangerous.”
With these ‘secret control buttons’, the social network would even be able to do financial damage to a manufacturer. „Suppose the posts of a given company would be systematically blocked. Facebook would directly influence the profits that company makes, without anyone realising.”
Originally published in de Telegraaf in Dutch