I believe history will prove this org structure has caused more harm in the world than near anything in modern history. This BuzzFeed report is a must-read. /1 buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanma…
First, the report builds on previous reporting by @RMac18 @CraigSilverman and colleagues along with other news outlets including notably the WSJ who has covered the political influences at Facebook deeply both here and abroad. /2
Report also spends time on content policy team reporting thru lobbying executives. Zuckerberg in leaked transcripts has said who helped him w shooting and looting “mistake” and it matched this chart (Sandberg, Clegg, Bickert, Kaplan). New sources confirm problems here. /3
It’s worth noting @WillOremus has nailed this reporting by contrasting to Twitter who has publicly stated PR and Govt Relations not involved in these decisions. I think BuzzFeed report should have also noted board (especially Thiel) as influence has also been reported there. /4
My only other criticism frankly is Sandberg once again is overlooked. She sits at the nexus of policy, govt influence and business decisions but has not been tested - particularly in DC. She is in charge, too, and execs have proven to cover-up issues until FB is on fire. /5
Back to the amazing report, new context to me is Facebook turning up its News Ecosystem Quality to prioritize brands of higher integrity and trust in journalism at election but also again after Jan 6th. Just think about the power and effects of that dial. /6
NEQ is essentially what we pushed for in our 2016 letter to Zuckerberg. 5yrs ago!!! Using brands as proxies for trust. Slow spread of toxic sludge. In Australia, they’ve now done antithesis by eliminating all legit news for PR stunt to try to stop law threatening FB profits. /7
I know plenty will argue the real problem (🙋🏾‍♀️) is still Facebook’s core biz model of mining data across our lives to microtarget ads around content driving engagement. That’s true. But counter-speech is critical to speech, algorithmic amplification drives velocity and reach. /8
So when you see these reports of intervention to protect Jones’ ideas, it matters. Recall Zuckerberg told @karaswisher he thought Holocaust denial was protected expression. Then he didn’t. And in both cases he avoided much more important role of algorithmic amplification. /9
I emphasize again as difficult as censorship debate is for Facebook, his Georgetown speech and priorities are to keep it there. If it shifts towards algorithmic amplification (velocity/reach/microtargeting), it’s an existential risk to the company. He can defend censorship. /10
I think it’s only fair to also note a guy named Elliot Schrage was in the Kaplan box for years. He left as the fall guy when Facebook was reported to be using a PR firm with shady anti-Semitic tactics that crossed Sandberg’s desk - they both simply “rebranded.” /11
A couple more things, I highlight WSJ previous work but should also note @lizzadwoskin @craigtimberg @TonyRomm here, too. And no doubt other outlets. Press build on each other to get closer to truth. This is good. /12
Also if you want a case study for how decisions could have been impacted by the claims in BuzzFeed’s report, here is one. Sept 12th contrasting Twitter and Facebook. /13
Related note: here is Kaplan and Zuckerberg’s tightest performance art. Both are now being pressed by @AGKarlRacine for depositions on same topic - reminder, they paid FTC $5B to avoid this risk (causing another lawsuit). ps: you may recognize voice. /14
Two other numbers related to this report. @CraigSilverman @RMac18 claim 14 sources. That’s impressive and speaks to their own work and Facebook’s employee woes. And $300 billion, the amount of support into the company and its shareholders by advertisers. /15
Here is a thread on how FB combined govt relations + content moderation dynamic can impact global democracy. Less obvious maybe and like with proper reporting on its platform decisions and advertisers, it gives Facebook a choke point on govt influence. /16
and of course, whether in India or America, the choke point is impossible to ignore and requires accountability above and below which has proven impossible with the company and governance making it also an antitrust issue. /17 washingtonpost.com/technology/202…
I mean of course FB is now more likely to move against sites causing polarization as Democrats control the US government. But how is that also not a problem? Until we deal with the core business problem, it's a weapon of the information war. /18 wsj.com/articles/faceb…
🙏🏽 Need. More. Whistleblowers. Regulators (SEC, FTC, AGs) have yet to bring the hammer down forcing depositions that exposing truth. These courageous former employees are important to process.
Just bumped into this thread. Not only did @RMac18 along w @CraigSilverman file an amazingly important report today, Ryan took the time to recognize other work it built on. Need more of this. Love it. Plural press pushing each other’s facts working towards the truth.

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23 Feb
Beyond Cory’s great thread, I have one other comment no press seem to want to dig into. Facebook is a menace to society yet they’re being covered as if they’re a respectable actor. Everything about their pulling out of Australia is hostile and a PR stunt. Why not ask question /1
Why did they pull out Wednesday? Prior to law passing. Here is what still happens...law passes. Facebook gets designated. A pub starts negotiation. 90 days. If no deal, baseball arbitration. Price determined. And still then Facebook could exit market. So why do it last week? /2
One news exec speculated Facebook did it last week because Google’s deal with News Corp was dominating press that day and maybe they could do it quietly. But do you know what the problem is with this hypothesis??? /3
Read 8 tweets
22 Feb
Aargh - in two tweets. This is a terrible move missing precisely on nuance we need in Congress.
(1/2) CableTV : This speech whether on the web or cable is protected from government by 1A. Importantly, it's also subject to more speech (counter-speech and public criticism). Image
(2/2) Social Media: It's critically important to make this distinction between concerns with Facebook and YouTube that use algorithmic amplification to micro-target content to individuals, outside the public square, with very little transparency or ability to fact check. 2/2 Image
On the social media example, the platforms provide the velocity and reach. I would argue OAN and Newsmax wouldn't even be a thing if it weren't for their clips being spread on social. YouTube is what made OAN, NewsMax, Epoch Times, Russia Today into household names. /3
Read 7 tweets
21 Feb
Ok, Brian knows I’m a loyal watcher but Australia segment was aargh. The law is not about links. The term link tax is loaded based on 2 platforms being described as having links to news sites. Links could go away and they would still have to pay. It’s public policy to move $.
ps @s_guilbeault was great and I endorse Canada’s leadership here, too. Hopefully they model off Australia vs a straight tax or something. Australia is built off antitrust findings of the two companies and involves more than $. Additionally...
it uses a market-based solution to bring the parties to the table including baseball arbitration to avoid slow regulation effects. And the law absolutely helps small publishers!!! It gives them collective bargaining they don’t currently have!!!!
Read 7 tweets
21 Feb
Sunday shows time, lots of topic medical people scheduled again 🙏🏽. First up, @CNNSotu. @DanaBashCNN did a really strong job pressing Dr Fauci with questions including schools, grandparents, duration of precautions and (he’ll also be on Meet the Press and Fox News Sunday).
Wow. I wish everyone could see this week’s @FoxNewsSunday if you stop and think about audience reached. Wallace did a remarkable interview on climate change with Gates posing doubts of his audience. @BillGates was a gracious, smart, transparent messenger, glad he made the time.
Then Wallace had Dr Fauci - recall for long time prior administration wouldn’t even let him on TV. Again, great interview. Value when Wallace presents conflicting video clips to his audience (being spread through right wing media) so that Dr Fauci can reconcile and clarify it.
Read 7 tweets
21 Feb
So I just read this op-ed in WSJ. It’s being passed around my disinfo lists but obviously this Hopkins doctor has credentials. It makes me wonder. Hope @ScottGottliebMD @CDCDirector Dr Fauci address on Sunday shows. @margbrennan @chucktodd @FoxNewsSunday wsj.com/articles/well-…
ps it’s so refreshing to see Dr Gottlieb will be on CBS, Fauci will be on NBC, CNN and FOX (good way to maximize American audience). If the goal is to ask tough questions and get good health info to the public, this is how you do it. 🙏🏽
And note my point above is not that I want the POV spread. I’m just flagging a whole lot of people read WSJ and will spread it so if the opinion is suspect then it would be good to hear this from experts.
Read 4 tweets
20 Feb
1) Facebook wants regulation...but not regulation that hurts its biz model.
2) Facebook thinks it’s anticompetitive of Apple to block FB from surveilling data across web/apps despite FB getting that data through deception and anticompetitive action according to German court.
3) Facebook wants to clean up toxic sludge yet blocks the most valued information when it could cost them money and power 4) Facebook wants to be neutral but curries favor with the government in power
5) Facebook wants to avoid content which is hate speech or dangerous to society yet refuses to have a conversation about algorithmic amplification and hugs free expression as a virtue.
Read 7 tweets

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