“Facebook is standing by its policies that allow politicians to lie to voters, while targeting their ads at narrow subsets of the public — decisions with vast implications for the more than $1 billion in online campaign messaging expected in this year’s elections.”
“The company behind the non-partisan news site RealClearPolitics has been secretly running a Facebook page filled with far-right memes and Islamophobic smears,” the Daily Beast reports. “Called ‘Conservative Country,’ the Facebook page was founded in 2014 and now boasts nearly 800,000 followers for its mix of Donald Trump hagiography and ultra-conservative memes.”
“I understand the fear about digital fakery. But to focus on Facebook instead of Fox News is to mistake the symptom for the disease…. The disease is an entrenched, well-funded, decades-in-the-making, right-wing propaganda network, one that exists to turn faintly sourced rumors into full-blown, politically convenient narratives. The propaganda network’s tentacles now infiltrate every form of media — magazines, books, talk radio, social networks — but it still finds its most profitable and effective outlet in the Murdochs’ cable empire. … And it is devastatingly effective: Just about every political lie that has dominated American discourse in the past two decades — the Swift Boaters and the birthers, death panels, the idea that undocumented immigrants pose an existential threat but climate change does not — depended, for its mainstream dissemination, on the Fox News machine.”
CBS News: “Facebook said it saw a ‘steep increase’ in the creation of abusive, fake accounts in the past six months. The company took down more than 3 billion fake accounts from October to March, twice as many as it did in the previous six months.”
President Trump’s campaign team has run more than 4,400 ads on the president’s personal Facebook page since May 7, CNN reports. The page has more than 24 million followers. The data was obtained through Facebook’s new ad tracking tool, which allows users to see political ads run on the platform in the United States.
“We let the community down and I feel really bad and I’m sorry about that.”
— While not definitively saying yes, Mark Zuckerberg told Recode that he’s “open” to testifying before members of Congress regarding Facebook’s recent privacy scandal involving Cambridge Analytica.
Washington Post: “Facebook plans to tell lawmakers on Tuesday that 126 million of its users may have seen content produced and circulated by Russian operatives, many times more than what the company previously disclosed about the reach of the disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election.”
Forty-two percent of U.S. adults say they access Facebook several times a day, compared with 20 percent for traditional news outlets, according to a recent Morning Consult poll. Facebook’s share includes 47 percent of adults under the age of 30 and 52 percent of Americans between the ages of 30 and 44.
The editors of Pensito Review take for granted that our sophisticated readers know the difference between real and fake news, fact and fiction, honest commentary and nativist propaganda. But maybe you know a less-sophisticated soul who has fallen prey to the fake news in their Facebook feed.
Tell him about fIB: Let’s Stop Living a Lie. It’s a Google Chrome extension that scrapes fake news from your Facebook feed that was created by four Princeton students engaged in a weekend hackathon. The extension works in two ways:
Content-consumption: Our chrome-extension goes through your facebook feed in real time as you browse it and verifies the authenticity of posts. These posts can be status updates, images or links. Our backend AI checks the facts within these posts and verifies them using image recognition, keyword extraction, and source verification and a twitter search to verify if a screenshot of a twitter update posted is authentic. The posts then are visually tagged on the top right corner in accordance with their trust score. If a post is found to be false, the AI tries to find the truth and shows it to you.