I’ve just been collecting some of these links for the last few months. Almost everyone I’ve talked to feels better, healthier, and more sane if they’ve stopped, or limited their Facebook usage.
Facebook ignored or was slow to act on evidence that fake accounts on its platform have been undermining elections and political affairs around the world, according to an explosive memo sent by a recently fired Facebook employee and obtained by BuzzFeed News.
“I know that I have blood on my hands by now,” Zhang wrote.
Political manipulation is a known problem that has been happening on Facebook for years, and they’ve got no solution.
With all the negative press around, you might think they are not doing a good job at avoiding criticism, but consider the alternative that they’ve been able to weather all this because they’ve been able to deflect the criticism and avoid scrutiny and accountability. I know this all sounds pretty unhinged right now, but, stay with me. This is a company who hires conservative politicians to its highest ranks in multiple countries, while maintaining a veneer of political neutrality. The same company pretends its not the arbiter of truth while employing tens of thousands of people to do exactly that. Ask yourselves: What has changed at Facebook?
But you wouldn’t know that by the way they act. They are so worried about being regulated that they’ve now sold their soul (or what little is left) to the devil, so they can parry the “bias” issue rather than the real issue: that the good of Facebook is drastically outweighed by the negative created by the news feed, engagement, and Facebook groups.
Both reports were filed before the shooting took place, but identified the event and broader Kenosha Guard community as likely to incite violence. Last week, Facebook specifically identified militia groups as potentially inciting violence and removed a number of militia pages alongside hundreds of groups affiliated with QAnon. Still, it seems those warnings weren’t enough to trigger Facebook’s existing policies. It wasn’t until Wednesday morning, more than nine hours after the shooting took place, that Kenosha Guard was cited by Facebook as violating the Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy and removed.
Reached for comment, Facebook said the company’s investigation had produced no direct links between the shooting and the Kenosha Guard accounts. “We’ve designated this shooting as a mass murder and have removed the shooter’s accounts from Facebook and Instagram,” a Facebook representative said. “At this time, we have not found evidence on Facebook that suggests the shooter followed the Kenosha Guard Page or that he was invited on the Event Page they organized. However, the Kenosha Guard Page and their Event Page violated our new policy addressing militia organizations and have been removed on that basis.”
Tremendous system you’ve got there, Facebook. It definitely is much easier to know who to remove, if you wait until they kill people.
But Facebook says there’s a reason why right-wing figures are driving more engagement. It’s not that its algorithm favors conservatives — the company has long maintained that its platform is neutral. Instead, the right is better at connecting with people on a visceral level, the company says.
“Right-wing populism is always more engaging,” a Facebook executive said in a recent interview with POLITICO reporters, when pressed why the pages of conservatives drive such high interactions. The person said the content speaks to “an incredibly strong, primitive emotion” by touching on such topics as “nation, protection, the other, anger, fear.”
It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.
Fifty-two percent of voters support shutting down social media platforms altogether for the week of the presidential election, according to a poll from GQR research shared exclusively with Axios.
Hey–the people seem to get it though! Let’s turn off the garbage heading into the election, and see if we can’t survive this hells cape!
The big picture: The News tab expansion is the latest effort by Facebook to pay news organizations for their work. The company has come a long way from its initial stance of refusing to pay publishers or hire human editors just two years ago.
Also, a number of new countries are about to be horribly screwed.