AOC mocks Facebook outage by asking people to share positive ‘evidence-based’ stories on rival platform Twitter

‘Bonus points for uplifting others in comments,’ Democratic lawmaker tweets

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Monday 04 October 2021 21:22
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New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez mocked Facebook in a tweet on Monday as the social media platform remained offline.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez suggested that people share “evidence-based” stories to Twitter of “democracy working in hopeful ways”.

“In observance of Facebook being down, let’s all share our favorite stories of democracy working in hopeful ways and coolest evidence-based reporting,” she tweeted.

“Bonus points for uplifting others in comments 😌⬇️,” the Democrat lawmaker added.

She began by posting a story from Mother Jones about the rise in worker co-ops across the US during the pandemic and the increased popularity of workplace democracy.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet highlights the accusation often levelled at Facebook that its algorithm promotes non-evidence-based information and has undermined democracy by allowing such falsehoods to spread.

The tweet is particularly pointed given that on Sunday Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen gave an interview to 60 Minutes on CBS in which she said the platform has “realised that if they change the algorithm to be safer, people will spend less time on the site, they’ll click on less ads, they’ll make less money”.

Articles shared by other Twitter users included a piece on a tiny home community opening in Los Angeles, a county commissioner vote to remove a Confederate statue from outside a courthouse, and a “drive-to-you” voter registration initiative in Texas.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez famously interrogated Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg when he appeared before the House Financial Services Committee in late 2019.

She was praised for appearing articulate, patient and composed, asking Mr Zuckerberg a range of questions from when he first knew of Cambridge Analytica to Facebook’s failures in fact-checking political advertisements. Mr Zuckerberg appeared jittery and nervous in contrast.

“So, you won’t take down lies or you will take down lies? I think that’s just a pretty simple yes or no,” the lawmaker said at one point in frustration.

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went offline on Monday at around midday ET.

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