NEW w/ @RMac18: Mark Zuckerberg intervened to reduce penalties for Alex Jones and Infowars. His decision weakened FB's policies and prevented it from acting earlier against right wing groups like the Oath Keepers that stormed the Capitol, sources say:…
This story dives deep into how important content moderation/enforcement decisions get made at FB. It reveals how Facebook's powerful policy team, led by Joel Kaplan, repeatedly went against the company's own experts to intervene on changes for fears of conservative backlash.
A telling example: Ben Shapiro's page was promoted to people who do not follow it via "in feed recommendations." FB's own rules said not to promote political pages via IFR. Users complained. But FB didn't take action b/c public policy warned of a backlash. So the rules got bent.
So traffic and engagement was going to a right wing page thanks to a Facebook product that should not have been promoting it. No one on the right or left should have been in IFR. But FB didn't act because it worried about false accusations of "shadow banning."

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More from @CraigSilverman

10 Dec 20
NEW w/ @rmac18: Sources and exclusive documents reveal how Facebook’s $80 ad juggernaut has enabled a global economy of dishonesty where scammers, hackers, and disinformation peddlers rip off and manipulate people around the world.…
FB has at times prioritized revenue over enforcement of policies designed to protect people who use its platforms. Example: A manager overseeing 45 ads contractors told them to ignore hacked accounts/violations as long as “Facebook gets paid” for ads via a valid payment method.
He framed it as a win-win when someone hacks a big page and uses their access to run ads: “Facebook gets paid, the bad actors get to run their ads to a larger market.”

He joined Facebook as a full-time risk investigations analyst in April.
Read 16 tweets
6 Aug 20
SCOOP: Facebok employees collected evidence showing preferential treatment of right wing figures. FB policy ppl removed misinfo strikes from Breitbart, PragerU, and Diamond & Silk, according to internal docs. And FB fired a key employee who gathered info:…
FB’s policy says publishers must contact a fact checker that gives the rating if they want to dispute it.

But the docs show that people such as VP of global public policy Joel Kaplan have intervened on behalf of conservatives like Charlie Kirk. In some cases checks were removed
In one case, Diamond & Silk appealed a “false” rating directly with the checker. It was downgraded to “partly false” on merit.

But then someone in “Policy/Leadership” at Facebook intervened and removed it and a previous rating on their page, according to internal convos.
Read 5 tweets
14 May 20
George Michailow needed face masks for seniors at his church. He saw a Facebook ad and bought 10. An hour later he saw *another* FB ad and bought 3.

These ads are supposed to be banned from FB. And the masks never arrvied.

Exposing a global mask ads op:…
Here’s a shot from one mask ad run by ZestAds, the co. behind the scheme. They were rife with false claims, and said the masks were made a by a Japanese professor. He does not exist. I found close to 100 pages linked to the company. It spent $20 million on Facebook ads in 2019.
The Dontgoout page ran ads and also listed a real US company as its “Confirmed Page Owner.” This new transparency feature was launched by FB to show the entity behind a page. ZestAds completely subverted it. Ppl may have thought they were buying from a US co., not one in Malaysia
Read 7 tweets
28 Apr 20

The new Verification Handbook for Disinformation and Media Manipulation is online and avialable for free. Let some of the world’s best experts teach you to investigate our chaotic information environment.

Link and thread:… #OSINT #journalism
I'll take you through the chapters & case studies, and intro you to our fantastic authors. I was lucky to edit the book and thank @ejcnet for publishing it, and @craignewmark for funding the whole damn thing!

The previous Handbooks are free & online here:
The incredible @cward1e wrote an introduction to the concept of information disorder:…

And a chapter about investigating messaging apps like WhatsApp:…

She also read every other piece of content and offered her edits.
Read 20 tweets
15 Jan 20
Some claim the Robert F Hyde in the newly released Lev Parnas text messages is @rfhyde1. We recently caught him running a shady network of coordinated FB pages that pose as grassroots Trump efforts. And he straight up lied to us when asked about it.…
@rfhyde1 We asked him if he was running the network of 23 FB pages with names like Iowa Supporters for President Donald J Trump. He said no back in November. Well, now all of the pages list "FINLEY ENTERPRISES, LLC" as their owner. That's his company.
@rfhyde1 He claims to be active as a Trump fundraiser and has lots of pics of him and Trump folks on his social accounts. He is currently running for the Republican nomination for a congressional seat in Connecticut.
Read 8 tweets
20 Dec 19
Insane how long this stuff stayed up after work by Ben, Brandy, Snopes and others clearly showed how inauthentic it was.
Let’s note this is being announced the Friday before Christmas when these stories have been out for a long time.

Also @ExploitingNiche deserves credit for her great AI faces analysis!
Here’s an idea: Facebook should have to pay a bug bounty to NBC News, Snopes, and Lead Stoties in the amount it accepted in ads from Epoch Times.
Read 4 tweets

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