Hillary Clinton thinks Facebook and Twitter are bad for democracy

She's not happy.
Image: recode

Hillary Clinton is not happy with Twitter. Or Facebook.

Responding to a question from Mashable Tech Editor Pete Pachal at the Code Conference regarding whether Twitter has been “bad or good for our national discourse,” the former presidential candidate expounded upon the ways that Twitter has negatively impacted our politics.

“I think it has certainly provided, as you say, positive information, quick turnaround information to a very large audience,” observed Clinton. “But I think it has become victimized by deliberate efforts to shape the conversation and push it toward conspiracies, lies, false information.”

“[Twitter] has become victimized by deliberate efforts to shape the conversation, and push it toward conspiracies, lies, false information.”

In other words, Twitter can’t handle its shit.

The service is overrun with disinformation, argued Clinton, and an adult is desperately needed in the digital room to bring some order.

But take a deep breath, At Jack, because Clinton doesn’t think it’s all on you.

“And I think it’s the same problem Facebook faces,” she continuednot letting Mark Zuckerberg off the hook. “That when you try to be all things to all people, and you try to open up your platform so that people can come in, and you want to be influential ’cause you expect people will actually tune you in and read and watch what you havewhat do you do to try to contain the weaponization and manipulation of that information? I don’t think we know yet.”

She also took a moment to dive into the murky waters of Donald Trump’s Twitter followers.

“Who is behind driving up Trump’s Twitter followers by the millions? We know they’re bots,” added Clinton. “Why? I assume there’s a reason for everything. Is it to make him look more popular than he is? Is it to try to influence others on Twitter about what the messaging is so that people get caught up in it and lose sight of what they’re trying to say?”

Basically, Clinton accused Facebook and Twitter as serving as giant propaganda machines a reality that Mark Zuckerberg has publicly struggled to acknowledge and that Trump is all too happy to take advantage of this fact.

“It’s what a classic authoritarian does. It’s not just about influencing your institutions, your values, they want to influence your reality,” Clinton explained. “And we can’t let that go unanswered whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere else.”

And sure, while she acknowledged that Facebook and Twitter are working to solve the problem of fake news, she doesn’t think the companies are moving fast enough.

“I would just urge them to hurry up.”

Got that Dorsey? You listening Zuckerberg? Clinton is calling you out and the rest of us can only hope you’re listening.

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