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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 9th December 2016 > FACEBOOK DEAD


Divisive politics and fake news are hurting the country and could kill the world’s biggest social media platform
THAT’S HOW THE DARK GETS IN: Divisive views and fake news pumped up engagement on Facebook during the election, but they created a potentially fatal rend in the company’s fabric.

IMAGINE GOING on Facebook and finding no political posts—just your friends and their updates. It would feel like pulling on clean underwear after wearing a single pair for a week on a desert hike.

Fake news? That’s only the start of the tempest about to roll through Facebook headquarters. The site is turning into a septic tank of polluted politics. It’s becoming a party you want to leave because everybody got drunk and obnoxious. No new social network is going to beat Facebook by copying Facebook, but we might get fed up with all the politics and fake crap on Facebook and turn to something refreshingly different. Right there you can see the leak in Facebook’s tire: the left glove that drops and leaves an opening for a rival to punch it in the face.

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THE ROBOT ECONOMY Next time you stop for gas at a self-serve pump, say hello to the robot in front of you. Its life story can tell you a lot about the robot economy roaring toward us like an EF5 tornado on the prairie. Yeah, your automated gas pump killed a lot of jobs over the years, but its biography might give you hope that the coming wave of automation driven by artificial intelligence (AI) will turn out better for almost all of us than a lot of people seem to think.