Dana Priest, 2 Pulitzer Prizes, 2019 Peabody Award - PBS FRONTLINE program "The Facebook Dilemma"
Air Dates: November 23-25, 2019
This Week’s Guest: DANA PRIEST, Author & 2-Time Pulitzer Prize-Winning Reporter For The Washington Post
· 2019 Peabody Award – Documentaries - PBS FRONTLINE program "The Facebook Dilemma"
· Expert on U.S. Intelligence, Military, Cybersecurity, & Human Rights
Follow-up Interview: Further Analyzes The Abuse of Data Farming & Selling That Facebook Perpetrates On Its Users
November 21, 2019 -- This week's guest on REPORT FROM SANTA FE is DANA PRIEST, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Washington Post. Priest is an expert on U.S. intelligence, military, cybersecurity, and human rights.
Featured in the 2018 PBS FRONTLINE program "The Facebook Dilemma," Priest discusses critical issues with Facebook in this interview. Priest and her FRONTLINE team won the prestigious 2019 Peabody Award for Documentaries and in this follow-up, in-depth interview, she further analyzes the abuse of data farming and selling that Facebook perpetrates on its users.
Priest explains, “They started actually taking your data without telling you, or, even more than that, were lying to you about what they were doing. They created a way to take not just the data that you have from your Facebook likes and feeds and what you click on, but actually they have arrangements with all web sites or 99% of the web sites on the entire Internet.”
Priest continues, “They create an algorithm, basically a set of instructions for the Facebook machine as I like to call it, that has your profile and then it is going to feed you, you didn’t ask for this, but it is going to feed you more emotional content because that is how you will stay on the page longer... And it is not even a neutral decision you are making, because the algorithm always wins out. The algorithm that gives you the sensational content always wins out over… the regular news content.”
She describes that the promise of Facebook was to create a more open and connected world. But from the company’s failure to protect millions of users’ data, to the proliferation of “fake news” and disinformation, mounting crises have raised the question: Is Facebook more harmful than helpful?
Priest worked for nearly 30 years for the Washington Post. She speaks about her colleague from the Post, Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist brutally murdered and dismembered by Saudi operatives, and observes that it has been a year since his death and justice has not been served. She has formed a group called “The Press Uncuffed” and works with The Committee to Protect Journalists.
Dana Priest became the third John S. and James L. Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism in 2014. She is the author of two best-selling books, "The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace With America's Military" (2003) and "Top Secret America."