Harvard psychologist Joshua Greene explains Facebooks’s trolley problem

Colleen Walsh in The Harvard Gazette:

Testimony by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, who holds a degree from Harvard Business School, and a series in the Wall Street Journal have left many, including Joshua Greene, Harvard professor of psychology, calling for stricter regulation of the social media company. Greene, who studies moral judgment and decision-making and is the author of “Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them,” says Facebook executives’ moral emotions are not well-tuned to the consequences of their decisions, a common human frailty that can lead to serious social harms. Among other things, the company has been accused of stoking division through the use of algorithms that promote polarizing content and ignoring the toxic effect its Instagram app has on teenage girls. In an interview with the Gazette, Greene discussed how his work on moral dilemmas can be applied to Facebook. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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