Posts tagged facebook

Salon.com
"If you took Parler out of the equation, you would still almost certainly have what happened at the Capitol," he told Salon. "If you took Facebook out of the equation before that, you would not. To me, when Apple and Google sent their letter to Parler, I was a little bit confused why Facebook didn't get one."
I want to quote this whole article. We still have a broken system.
Wired
"The business choices of internet platforms have enabled an explosion not only of white supremacy but also of Covid denial and antivax extremism, which have variously undermined the nation’s pandemic response, nearly sabotaged the presidential election, and played a foundational role in the violence at the Capitol. A huge industry has evolved on the platform giants to raise money from and sell products to people in the thrall of extreme ideologies."
Also, their monopoly power means no meaningful alternatives can exist for businesses who want to advertise or people who want to socialize on platforms that act ethically.
Platformer
"Americans voted Trump out of office, but instead of accepting that result, he has sought to overturn it. By inciting the violent occupation of the US Capitol, Trump has given up any legitimate claim to power. In 14 days, barring catastrophe, he will be out of office. The only question is how much damage he will do in the meantime — and we know, based on long experience, that his Twitter and Facebook accounts will be among his primary weapons."
Taking away some ability to incite violence would be a good step.

Update (1/7): Facebook bans Trump for his remaining time in office right after congress confirmed the electoral college votes and the Georgia election determined Democrats would control Congress.

Update (1/9): Twitter permanently bans Trump. And all attempts to use related accounts.
BuzzFeed News
"The employees were scared and frustrated, and some came to the realization that the platform they had helped build and operate had contributed to the wave of fear, disinformation, and chaos that flooded Congress."
Facebook had to stop their employees from discussing the coup attempt today.
Slate
Facebook has spent much of the past four years kowtowing to conservatives, treating right-wing news outlets with kid gloves even as they flouted its rules and spread disinformation, while bending over backward to avoid offending the Trump administration.
What if the real value Zuckerberg bought with his fealty was the friends he made along the way?
New York Times
"In response, the employees proposed an emergency change to the site’s news feed algorithm, which helps determine what more than two billion people see every day. It involved emphasizing the importance of what Facebook calls “news ecosystem quality” scores, or N.E.Q., a secret internal ranking it assigns to news publishers based on signals about the quality of their journalism...Typically, N.E.Q. scores play a minor role in determining what appears on users’ feeds."
Facebook has developed an internal metric for determining the quality of a news source but they choose not to use that knowledge in how they distribute information.
Fortune
Facebook said “most” issues have been fully addressed, and that it’s working with advertisers to handle their concerns. The company also stressed that no ads were paused or rejected by humans or based on partisan ideologies. “We have worked throughout this election to maintain a neutral playing field, and that remains true in the face of these problems,” Facebook said in a blog post. “We understand that time is of the essence at this stage of the campaign season.”
The idea that algorithms are neutral is very dangerous—it’s just not true because an algorithm is made up of potentially hundreds or thousands of human decisions. (Even just one key decision can tip scales.) Humans are biased by business concerns or blind spots even when they’re working hard not to be. And I think Facebook has never been neutral based on their actions.

Facebook is a private monopoly and they are a terrible de facto Federal Election Commission. Plus they charge Biden more for ads which isn’t legal in other media. Facebook made the choice to favor conservatives a long time ago and the results are hurting society.
NBC News
“We have to think about the QAnon networks as the rails upon which misinformation is driven,” said Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
It’s never too late to do the right thing. Like Casey Newton, it does make me wonder why now?
cnbc
"The staff found, after a 16-month investigation into competitive practices at Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google, that the four businesses enjoy monopoly power that needs to be reined in by Congress and enforcers."
Findings! This all sounds promising but I’m skeptical that we’ll see meaningful change. That monopoly power has been very useful to the government.
CNN
"While Facebook allows politicians to make false claims in their ads — arguing that voters deserve an unfiltered view of what candidates and elected officials say — advertisements by super PACs and other independent groups are subject to the company's policies on misinformation"
"Despite the rules, the super PACs have not faced significant repercussions, said Avaaz, nor have users who engaged with the ads been notified that they have been exposed to misleading content."
10 million micro-targeted views of misinformation. How much damage can one monopoly do before we use our antitrust laws? We're going to see this same story over and over until we do. Facebook is so handy for swaying voters for people in charge of using antitrust laws that I'm not sure we'll see it without public pressure.
BuzzFeed News
"When she asked the company to do more in terms of finding and stopping malicious activity related to elections and political activity, she said she was told that “human resources are limited.” And when she was ordered to stop focusing on civic work, “I was told that Facebook would no longer have further need for my services if I refused.”"
Facebook the company is coordinated inauthentic behavior.
BuzzFeed News
"The company did not catch the page despite user reports, Zuckerberg said, because the complaints had been sent to content moderation contractors who were not versed in “how certain militias” operate. “On second review, doing it more sensitively, the team that was responsible for dangerous organizations recognized that this violated the policies and we took it down.”"
Blaming contractors when that’s the moderation system they designed? They can’t control their own moderation system? Facebook stock price is at an all time high so the company doesn’t have much incentive to change their systems. It’s working well for making money, working terribly for society.
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