Silicon Valley

The company now says social media may hurt civic discourse, but it promises to do its “moral duty” by understanding how to mitigate such problems.

What it says: Of the thousands of words published in a pair of new essays on the topic, the choicest cut comes from Facebook’s product manager for civic engagement, Samidh Chakrabarti:

If there’s one fundamental truth about social media’s impact on democracy it’s that it amplifies human intent— both good and bad.I wish I could guarantee that the positives are destined to outweigh the negatives, but I can’t.

Why it matters: It’s another sign, along with a commitment to build a “more meaningful” social network, that Facebook is responding to criticism about fake news, Russian meddling, and addictive content.

Now what? Chakrabarti says the company has a “moral duty to understand how [its] technologies are being used and what can be done to make … Facebook as representative, civil and trustworthy as possible.”