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Nick Thompson: Facebook realized too late it couldn’t control its own algorithms

Three years ago, Facebook changed its algorithms to mitigate online rage and misinformation. But it only made Facebook worse by boosting toxic engagement, says Nick Thompson, The Atlantic CEO & former WIRED editor-in-chief. Thompson believes Facebook simply got in over its head, rather than becoming intentionally "evil" like, say, Big Tobacco with cigarettes. "I think they just created something they couldn't control. And I think they didn't grasp what was happening until too late." Watch his interview with Ian Bremmer on the latest episode of GZERO World.

What We’re Watching: Bolsonaro’s COVID crimes, Mali calls al-Qaeda, Facebook gets a facelift

Bolsonaro accused of crimes against humanity: A long-running Senate investigation in Brazil has found that by downplaying the severity of COVID, dithering on vaccines, and promoting quack cures, President Jair Bolsonaro directly caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. An earlier version of the report went so far as to recommend charges of homicide and genocide as well, but that was pulled back in the final copy to a mere charge of "crimes against humanity", according to the New York Times. The 1,200-page report alleges Bolsonaro's policies led directly to the deaths of at least half of the 600,000 Brazilians who have succumbed to the virus. It's a bombshell charge, but it's unlikely to land Bolsonaro in the dock — for that to happen he'd have to be formally accused by the justice minister, an ally whom he appointed, and the lower house of parliament, which his supporters control. Still, as the deeply unpopular Bolsonaro limps towards next year's presidential election, a rap of this kind isn't going to help.

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Let's align interests to regulate Big Tech algorithms — AI scientist Kai-fu Lee

This week's bombshell revelation of Facebook putting profits over people has sparked fresh calls to get tougher on Big Tech. And for AI scientist Kai-fu Lee, companies will just keep using algorithms to benefit their bottom lines if left unchecked. So, what can we do? Clearly establishing what's "unacceptable" would help, he says, as would coming up with a definition of fake news that almost all people can agree on. Watch his interview with Ian Bremmer on the upcoming episode of GZERO World.

Multinational corporations aren't about to give up on global business

An op-ed in the Financial Times argues that the era of borderless enterprise may be past, thanks to rising geopolitical tensions between the US and China. In "Geopolitics spells the demise of the global chief executive," Elisabeth Braw writes that the nationalities of companies and their chief executives now matter again and their ability to pursue a truly global business strategy will be limited. But has the situation actually changed? Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analyst Charles Dunst take out the Red Pen to explain that nationalities have always mattered, and many of these risks aren't new.

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