Sunday , April 11 2021

The latest Facebook scandal has Washington's full attention



The day of Facebook was consumed with the fall of Wednesday New York Times History about its slow response to Russian interference, which generated a furore greater than anything the company saw from the Cambridge Analytics data privacy scandal. The company responded to its critics, put Mark Zuckerberg on the phone with journalists for a comprehensive question and answer session and moved to change the conversation to some important moves he is making about moderating content. It is not yet clear whether the movements will cause the indignation to shut down – or if, as with Cambridge Analytica, it will break into the next days and weeks.

Let's see the most important evolution of the day, in chronological order.

First, Facebook responded to the Times in a refutation point to point. You can read the blog post here. The main objection of the company to Times The piece is the suggestion that it sought to minimize or cover Russian interference on the platform before the elections. Facebook also says that no one discouraged his security chief, Alex Stamos, from investigating the Russian problem. (He did not dispute the statement that Sheryl Sandberg, the chief of operations, had criticized Stamos for being somewhat dishonest with his investigation and possibly leaving the company legally exposed.) The council had the back of Zuckerberg, issuing a statement that shows the progress of the company fighting misinformation.

Secondly, Facebook has held a press conference to discuss its second report on the application of community regulations. The report, which is new as of this year, measures the amount of police content that Facebook makes in your network. Now plan to launch a report weekly; can read the news here; or read the useful shine of Adi Robertson here. Big stores: governments continue to ask Facebook to take more and more information; Facebook is reporting the levels of intimidation, harassment and child exploitation for the first time; and the company has eliminated 1,500 million false accounts in the last six months.

In the third place, Mark Zuckerberg published a "plan" of 4,500 words about the future of moderation of Facebook content. You can read this post here. The post had at least two warnings highly consequence. One, Facebook will move again to reduce the sensational content of News Feed. What impressed me was the language that Zuckerberg used to discuss this topic: it's different from what I had said before. And it goes to the heart of the role of social networks in the creation of a polarized and destabilized electorate:

One of the biggest problems with which social networks face is that, when they are not marked, people commit disproportionately with more sensational and provocative content. This is not a new phenomenon. It is widely disseminated today by cable and has been a basic element of tabloids for over a century. The scale may undermine the quality of public discourse and lead to polarization. In our case, it can also degrade the quality of our services.

Our research suggests that it does not matter where we have to trace the lines for which it is allowed, since content is closer to that line, people commit more to it, even if they say later they do not like the content.

Zuckerberg says Facebook "will train AI systems to detect limit content so that we can distribute less content". It remains to be seen how effective AI will be in this task, or about the commercial implications. But it can be one of the most important things Facebook does next year.

The other main announcement: an independent supervisory body to review the resources for the removal of content. Zuckerberg discussed for the first time the idea of ​​a "Supreme Court of Facebook" with Ezra Klein in April; I wrote why such a body was necessary in this space in August, during the mess of Alex Jones. He asked Zuckerberg today if he thought that the body should publish his opinions, creating a kind of case law; he told me he did. The body will not be in operation until the end of 2019 as soon as possible, but when it arrives we can expect a growing body of jurisprudence on social networks, and it will be fascinating to see.

Fourth, Zuckerberg answered questions about the most unnecessary elements of the TimesReport. Journalists focused on the company's decision to hire Definers Public Affairs, a public research and public relations firm in Washington, DC. Facebook bid farewell to the company on Wednesday night. Zuckerberg said that neither he nor Sandberg knew that definers were still working for them. This tension of credulity, like the blog's own blog post, noted that "our relationship with the definers was well-known to the media, not just because they often sent invitations to hundreds of journalists about major press releases on our behalf." (I had an item about Definers here in February).

The issue of the Definers was nuclear for two reasons. One of them, the company distributed a document that was trying to link the criticisms of Facebook: erroneously! – to George Soros. Linking events to Soros, a liberal philanthropist who escaped from the Holocaust, is a worn-out anti-Semitic tactic. And Zuckerberg and Sandberg, of course, are Jewish.

Two, Definers uses what a previous employee told NBC News it was "a false news store at home" to push messages into the broader media ecosystem. Report Michael Cappetta, Ben Collins and Jo Ling Kent:

Definers runs a website called NTK Network, which has a verified page on Facebook with more than 120,000 followers that publishes and promotes articles about the clients of the firm and its competitors.

An ex-employee of Definers, who asked not to be identified to protect professional relationships, told NBC News that NTK Network was "our fake news store at home." Some customers would actively pay for the positive coverage of NTK Network, which the former Workers said would be expelled through Facebook in the hope that larger conservative media such as Breitbart.

And in fact, the Times They found NTK pushed dozens of Facebook and anti-Facebook messages during their work time with the company, some of which were collected by Breitbart. For a company that spoke aloud and often over the last year about its commitment to reduce the spread of misinformation, the fact that it hired a crisis communications agency to actively disseminate the wrong information was the hypocrisy of the genres more important The definers had to go.

Zuckerberg suggested that it was a kind of dishonest operation:

"Without a doubt we never asked them to spread anything that is not true. It's not like we want to operate. In general, I think many DC companies could do this type of work. I understand why other companies may want to work with them, but that's it. It's not the way I want to drive this company. "

It is a line that would be most credible if Zuckerberg did not have the same work in the past. In 2011, he hired Burston-Marsteller to write scandalous stories about Google's privacy policies. (Microsoft hired him to do the same). Incredibly, Facebook fled with "I did not comment" at the moment.

The common thread in both episodes, beyond the CEO of Facebook and COO, is the communications chief of the company, who would be responsible for both: Elliot Schrage. Schrage dropped in June. The next time you hear about a journalist, I hope you are asked about how you see the role of companies like Definers and Burston-Marsteller in promoting the interests of a company.

Fifth and finally, everyone is crazy. George Soros asked for an investigation. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is crazy. Senator Mark Warner is crazy. Senator Ben Sasse is crazy. Sen. Ron Wyden is crazy. The New York Comptroller is crazy. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is the Times The story suggested lowered his criticisms after being personally pressured by Sandberg, said he planned to ask the Justice Department to investigate possible violations of campaign financing laws.

In Silicon Valley, Kurt Wagner wonders who he will be fired for that. (Zuckerberg received this question several times over the call and took it, in addition to saying it will not be Sandberg.) Berkeley students say they will not even consider working for Facebook. Alex Stamos is angry at the media for stopping to examine its own role in the history of Russia.

But I finished where I started: this particular Facebook scandal attracted the attention of ordinary people. It's the kind of scandal that has led friends from high school and university to send me a text asking what's happening. Three of them have deleted or deactivated their Facebook accounts in the last few days. After two years of final packages, the events this week offered another. "Facebook just full of idiots crazy now" Onion said.

The headline was the whole story, in both directions of the phrase.

Democracy

The racist reaction to the caravan of immigrants is building in WhatsApp groups in Mexico

The anti-immigrant feeling is spreading through social networks and it collapses on the streets of Tijuana while the caravan makes its last approach to the border, reports Karla Zabludovsky:

During the weeks, the growing presence of troops on the US border worried the members of the migrant caravan, which became a great motto for the meeting for the nationalist base of President Donald Trump and an unprecedented diplomatic and logistic challenge for the Mexican government . Immigrants face a new threat: Residents of Tijuana – the last stop on their 2,700-mile-long trip – are organizing protests against the caravan and threatening them, or anyone who supports it, with violence.

Several groups of Facebook and WhatsApp defending deportation from the caravan emerged in the month since emigrants left Honduras, emphasizing the anti-immigrant escalating feeling in northern Mexico. The violent language used against Central Americans in these groups resonates with employees of Trump sympathizers in the United States, referring to the caravan as an "invasion" and issuing a call to arms in defense of the borders.

Nigerian police say "false news" on Facebook are killing people

The BBC has a long research on the role of Facebook in Nigeria. The Nigerian police say that false information and incendiary images on Facebook have contributed to more than a dozen recent assassinations in the Plateau state, which recently saw an increase in ethnic violence.

The truth did not matter. The images disembarked on Facebook Berom new men in the city of Jos, hours north of the rural district where the massacre was going to happen. Some of the Facebook messages suggested that the killings were happening there in Jos or that the city's inhabitants were about to be attacked. Few stopped questioning the claims, or to check the origin of the graphic images that extended from phone to phone.

"As soon as we saw those images, we wanted to simply strangle any Fulani man who was with us," said a young Berom leader to the BBC. "Who would not do it, did they see their brother being killed?"

Human rights groups want Facebook to offer the "due process" for eliminations

Prior to the announcement of an independent consultative body, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Human Rights Watch and more than 70 other groups have asked Mark Zuckerberg to adopt a clearer "due process" system to eliminate content. Adi Robertson reports:

"Although Facebook is under enormous and still growing pressure to eliminate material that really threatens, without transparency, impartiality and processes to identify and correct errors, the policies of withdrawal of Facebook content usually rebate and silence people who should have their own Voices heard on the platform, "said the FEP in a press release. Other subscribers include article 19, the Center for Democracy and Technology, Classification of Digital Rights, PEN America and Canada, and the American Union of Civil Liberties.

Question of $ 2 trillion: New York and Virginia Overpay for Amazon?

Ben Casselman examines the subsidies that were promised to the new Amazon regional offices, and noted that nearby locations promised much more:

In fact, when selecting New York and Virginia for their new locations, Amazon rejected seemingly richer proposals on the verge. Maryland and New Jersey each offered multi-billion dollar incentive packages that analyzed those who accepted Amazon.

"An additional $ 7,500 million in grants was not enough for Amazon to move around the river," said Michael Farren, economist at the Mercatus Center, a libertarian think tank, referring to the difference between the Maryland offer of 8.5 million US dollars and Virginia less than one billion dollars. "This only says that the subsidies were never what matters first."

Ramzan Kadyrov got his Instagram back for a few hours after being expelled last year

The leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, used his short time in his favorite application to pay tribute to his gun, informs Hayes Brown. It was previously banned from the application due to US sanctions. The message from Kadyrov read in part:

PISTOL. How much do I have to tell you, my friend. As if in this silence only you and me. How many difficult years do we live with you? How many precise words did you lead you told the enemies and villains that defended my honor, dignity and life. You became my brother. Dedicated and silent Faithful and disinterested.

Elsewhere

The best lawyer on Facebook, who said he was leaving the company, is not going to leave after all because Facebook is still in crisis

Currently there are too many ongoing crises on Facebook so that the General Council Colin Stretch leaves the planned, informs Kurt Wagner. Now plan to stay until 2019.

TikTok increases the last 6 million downloads in the US. UU. As celebrities join the app

TikTok is having a moment in the United States; Famous people, including Jimmy Fallon and Tony Hawk, are united recently, reports Julia Alexander.

From QAnon to Pizzagate, when online conspiáscias form cults

Renee DiResta looks at the fascinating ways that online communities seem cults:

The idea that "more discourse" will counteract these ideas fundamentally misunderstood the dynamics of these online spaces: all others in the group are also part of the true believer community. The information does not need to travel very far to reach all the members of the group. What is shared meets the alignment of all the members, which reinforces the vision of the group's world. Inside Cult 2.0, dissent can be seen with hostility, fraud and harassment. There are no contrasts. There is no one who reports the radicalization of confidence and confidence.

Why Fox News has not had for a week

Fox News did not commit suicide for a week in protest of the failure of Twitter to quickly eliminate the tweets that posted the address of Tucker Carlson. This is a very interesting experiment and here we hope that Fox News will continue for a long period of time.

Throws

A Facebook patent would use your family photos to target the ads

Facebook has presented a patent that would facilitate the guidance of entire families with the ads, analyzing the photos they publish, Adi Robertson's reports, automatic learning and the cross-reference with another device and the publication of data. Not all patents are transformed into a product, but the weather is still not great.

The Twitter Twitter tab begins to sort stories in sections

Touch the Twitter search button and now you will see a variety of sections that you can browse.

Instagram begins to roll the board showing how much time it spends on it

Three months after it was said he was "unrolling", the Instagram board has already appeared. I have an average of 7 minutes per day.

Instagram now will allow users to buy video streaming items

Before launching its autonomous purchasing application, Instagram adds more features designed to convert the application into a catalog.

Take

Golden Fleecing from Amazon

Here is the extremely rare day that o Wall Street Journal e New York Times The op-ed page has the same opinion. The newspaper, like the National review Yesterday, he is in the most unusual position to accept the liberal congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:

We rarely agree with the elected socialist president Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but has the right to call billions of dollars in the "extremely worrisome" subsidies of Amazon taxpayers. These shipments to one of the richest companies in the history of the world, with an essentially zero base The cost of capital is Chronus capitalism at worst.

The offer of Amazon New York is a good deal

And here's the Times:

It is distressing that a mayor and governor who can not meet because of underground or public housing has somehow been able to find a common ground when doing an end running by the City Council and accelerating the process of use of the territory.

We will not know for 10 years if the 25,000 promised positions will materialize. We know that for decades the states and cities have paid bailouts in tens of billions of dollars to attract or "maintain" jobs just to find the losing end of the proposal when companies moved after the taxpayer's gifts ended.

And finally …

My most sincere condolences to BuzzFeed the journalist Ryan Mac, who had I expected to ask Zuckerberg on this subject (incredibly timed) by Kanye from Wednesday night. Zuckerberg extended the interrogation period twice on Thursday, due to his excellent credit, but unfortunately he was never called Mac.

It's nothin ', but an anguish.

Tell me

Send me advice, comments, questions and your applications to the independent supervisory body of Facebook: [email protected]


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