Devastating new report from @sheeraf:

At the beginning of the pandemic, Facebook data scientists had a plan to figure out how many users saw false or misleading health info that would require time and money.

The plan was never approved.…
Facebook issued a detailed rebuttal on Saturday to the White House allegation that social media companies are "killing people" with misinformation about vaccines.

This report would suggest that rebuttal was issued with no actual knowledge of the scale of the problem.
It's not that the data isn't there- it's that it's not structured to be accessible to managers. Basically like selling cigarettes with no knowledge of the ingredients.
Facebook employs hundreds of social scientists and data scientists. It simply did not prioritize this.

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More from @justinhendrix

18 Jul
This week's @techpolicypress podcast features two guests:

• Clint Watts (@selectedwisdom) on countering extremism, January 6 and the limits of social media monitoring;

@SamGregory on voice clones, deepfakes and the ethics of synthetic media

You can listen in your browser here:…
And as always you can subscribe via your favorite podcast service here:
Read 4 tweets
16 Jul
1/ Hi all! Just a little thread on the week that was for @techpolicypress- if you're not following or subscribed to the newsletter, I hope you'll consider it. The goal is to cover the intersection of technology and democracy:
2/ Started the week on Sunday with a podcast focused on the relationship between collective behavior and digital communications technology:
3/ @ellgood caught us up on President Biden’s July 9 executive order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy that should light a fire under the Federal Trade Commission:
Read 10 tweets
13 Jul
A trio of German researchers studying hate speech preserved the entirety of a public pro-Trump Telegram channel between Dec 2016 - January 2021.

Some of the channel members, it turns out, actively coordinated to participate in the January 6 insurrection:…
The channel the researchers preserved contains 26,431 messages through January 2021 that represent a “continuously evolving isolated ‘echo-chamber’ discussion, produced by 521 distinct users,” they say in the Journal of Open Humanities Data.…
Among the research questions this team was looking at is “how oppressive speech shifts norms of society, retrenching social hierarchies and in particular how social media contributes to that trend and exacerbates it.”…
Read 4 tweets
25 Jun
This week, the Senate blocked legislation aimed at protecting the right to vote, while Democrats in the House created a Select Committee to investigate January 6. I spoke to @hakeemjefferson on anti-democratic forces in the U.S. and the role of technology:…
Jefferson was one of the leaders of an effort by nearly 1000 political scientists to express concern over democratic backsliding in dozens of states where GOP legislatures are pushing limitations to voting rights in the wake of false claims about 2020:…
I was struck by the clarity of his assessment of the January 6 assault, just hours after it happened.…
Read 6 tweets
20 Jun
This week, the 20th episode of the @techpolicypress podcast takes on hard problems: first, we have @daphnehk on the regulation of algorithmic amplification; and second @HalSinger takes us on a tour of five new bills on competition put forward in the House:…
I spoke to @daphnehk, who directs the Program on Platform Regulation at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, about her @knightcolumbia essay, "Amplification and Its Discontents: Why regulating the reach of online content is hard." Read:……
To take a tour of the five new bills that Rep @davidcicilline and @RepKenBuck announced in the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee this month, I spoke to @HalSinger, Managing Director at Econ One. Hal walked me through each bill and the response to it:…
Read 5 tweets

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