Pages with tag Facebook

Facebook defends open advertising publishing platform that helps fake news propagandists

Two things are colliding on the Internet: Propagandists desire to spread fake news to influence society-wide-beliefs -- this is a huge portion of Russia's meddling in elections in the USA and other countries; and freedom of speech, freedom to build/publish websites, freedom to use social media networks, etc. Facebook and other Tech Giants are increasingly under fire for having allowed Russia to misuse their platforms, both advertising and social media, to spew out tons of fake news and society manipulation. Facebook's answer is that “The thing about free expression is when you allow free expression you allow free expression”, according to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Okay, yes, we understand that any squashing of speach is problematic. But, it's false that Facebook doesn't check advertising before it is posted, and it is problematic when stuff that's portrayed as news is completely false and bogus. Facebook already hires a team of people, moderators, to monitor what folks post on Facebook, and delete material or accounts that prove to be problematic. Why doesn't Facebook do the same for fake news?

Facebook et al admits to large-scale Russian advertising campaigns, illegal political advertising by foreigners

In US law it is illegal for foreign nationals to purchase political advertising. It is easy for anyone to use the advertising platforms run by Facebook, Google, Twitter, and so forth. Anyone can sign up to run advertising, and Facebook/Google/Twitter et al are raking in tons of cash by showing advertising to their large audiences. The problem comes when someone places illegal advertising -- do these companies have adequate screening to avoid aiding and assisting folks committing fraudulent or illegal advertising?

In this case the concern is foreign governments (such as Russia) placing politically manipulative advertising. It's feared that Russia has launched a "cyber war" spreading propaganda through social media websites, and through blogs, with the goal of manipulating the politics of countries around the world. The war is also a War on Truth, meaning that Russia's goals involve destruction of our sense of truthful facts so that political manipulators can spread any kind of idea as if it's factual.

It's not like Russia is the only organization/country doing this kind of thing. The methods ascribed to Russia are commonplace among online marketers -- using roboticized accounts to pump twitter hashtags -- article spinning techniques to publish variants of the same article to multiple blogs -- etc -- are well known spammy low-integrity methods of gaming the search engines. For what it's worth, Russia does present a greater risk to society-as-a-whole than does a company pushing a new-and-improved soap. That's why Russia is in the crosshairs right now.

Facebook exploits vulnerabilities in human psychology, says early President of Facebook

Facebook is a global phenomena, connecting billions of people around the planet. Supposedly it is creating lots of social good by being the interconnection medium for folks from anywhere to talk with folks anywhere else. Facebook did not birth itself whole into the form it is currently. Instead, Facebook was crafted by its leadership, especially its early leadership. Famously it was started by Mark Zuckerberg as something for the Harvard University campus. According to Sean Parker, who was the Facebook President during its early days, it was Parker's vision that put Facebook on the path of becoming the global behemoth it is today. And Sean Parker is deeply sorry, claiming that maybe he has destroyed humanity.

Facebook moves towards paying content creators sharing "art" in the news feed

While YouTube's moves make us think Google will push small-scale content creators out, Facebook appears to be inviting them (and their content) to Facebook's news feed. What's in play is those "content creators" with large audiences, and the advertising revenue that can be earned through such a channel. So far YouTube has been a premium place to play that game, because all it that's required is for someone to develop a video presence attractive enough to draw in enough audience to keep people watching your videos and the ads which come along for the ride.

On the flip side is Rights Management services so that piracy doesn't run rampant. To that end, Facebook has acquired contents rights management company Source3.

Facebook was used by 'governments' to spread propaganda, says Facebook report A new report issued by Facebook outlines what they know about propaganda spread by 'Governments' through its website. As Facebook notes, the Internet and sites like Facebook give a whole new realm of possibilities for 'information operations'. Information operations are the are spread by 'organized actors' (governments) to distort political sentiment by distorting the truth. Governments have used such strategies for millennia, but of course the global reach of the Internet changes the game. It's clear now that the 2016 US elections were heavily influenced by a stream of fake news, a large part of which was directed by Russia's intelligence services. Indications are that Russia is now focusing on other elections, including in France where an extreme hard-liner who wants to remove France from the EU and NATO could well be elected. Russia's geopolitical needs would be well served if the EU and NATO were weakened. If government-led information operations really are being conducted over social media networks, shouldn't we call it 'Social Media Warfare'?
Fake new viral picture of Obama as New Black Panthers is obvious forgery, still gets passed around

We're facing a War on Truth, where certain actors hope we'll all become confused about what's true and what's false. Presumably if we cannot collectively discern the truth, then society is easier to control? In any case, this image of President Obama is going around claiming to show PROOF he is a SECRET RADICAL member of the New Black Panthers. If one bothers to look closely, it's clearly a poor photoshop job. Fortunately Google Image Search finds us the actual image, as well as a fake-news-debunking site showing the true story.

Google's search algorithm enables fake news from Russia or elsewhere to manipulate reality

If you control what the population believes is true, you can control what that population does. Propagandists have known this for generations. The rise of Nazi Germany was due to "weaponized" misinformation. The Nazi Party owned newspapers that churned out fake news, the Party pushed all kinds of lies including Racial Lies, and ruthlessly squashed any dissenters. In the current time period we're being told that Russia has weaponized a system of social media accounts, websites pushing fake news, and on and on, for the purpose of manipulating elections around the world, and weakening international organizations like the EU and NATO.

I believe that Russia is doing that kind of thing, because Russia has for ages pushed Propaganda. The Russian newspaper "Pravda" (the word Pravda means Truth) famously was full of lies every day. Pravda is still in exactly that business, and other news outlets owned by the Russian Government, like Sputnik News and RT News, also push a highly slanted view of the world (everything Russia does is enlightened, everything the West does is clueless and harmful). Russia's motive? To get NATO off its back without fighting an open war. An information war is the ticket, but the casualty is the sense of Truth we all need.

By determining the scope of information we get as answers to questions, search engines have a lot of power to shape what the population believes.

The game that's on is about controlling what the population believes is the Truth. Governments do it to push policy goals, businesses do it to earn more money, activists might do it to push their cause, and so on.

Russia isn't the only participant in spewing fake news into the world. We're being told The Russians are doing it, and they almost certainly are. But that idea is being pushed to the exclusion of others who are using similar mechanisms. What's the goal being served by pushing "The Russians are doing it" while failing to recognize the techniques are used across governments and industries?

Russian think tank planned to influence the U.S. election, new documents reveal A Russian government-controlled think tank had outlined plans on how to swing the 2016 U.S. election toward Donald Trump, according to a Reuters report Thursday. New documents reveal a strategy of using social media to bolster Mr. Trump and undermine faith in America’s electoral system. William Brangham learns more from former CIA officer John Sipher and Ned Parker of Reuters. The Reuters report concerns two 'confidential' documents from the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, which was part of the successor to the KGB. These documents provide the framework and rationale for Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 US elections.
Russia’s disinformation campaign in Europe The Russian government has invested immense resources into media networks in Europe. The Russian state-media complex has established news and media outlets in the local languages of many European countries through which the Kremlin attempts to influence European discourse and public opinion on the Ukraine crisis. How does the Russian state-media complex use social media, political partnerships, and financial incentives to influence European media outlets? How successful is the media campaign launched by the Russian government? Where are the next targets of the Russian disinformation campaign? How could and should the EU respond?
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