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Adam Khan @Khanoisseur
, 58 tweets, 24 min read Read on Twitter
What a year - and a monumental, round the clock effort - it has been to stay on top of Trump and his administration.

If you've wondered how it began or why I do this, here is the back story.

Thanks for your continued support! gofundme.com/VolunteerJourn…
This Facebook algorithm update to ostensibly "improve the experience" is also a kill shot aimed at independent news orgs and citizen journalists. Facebook will prioritize content that isn't political under the guise of curbing fake news. theguardian.com/technology/201…
Zuckerberg used the media to build a booming customer base and now is extorting more $$ from media orgs for more exposure on Facebook. Lazy/petrified/well-heeled orgs will shell out to maintain their addiction to Facebook. Independent/low budget media orgs/journos get screwed.
Another dark downside of Facebook’s algorithm change: News publishers who will now be forced to pay more for exposure, will resort to making their posts more “engaging” by skipping “depressing” stories (i.e censoring themselves) - look for more clickbaity, lighter, fluffier posts
Nothing Zuckerberg does is “knee jerk” - he didn’t become one of the wealthiest men by being stupid - don’t fall for this narrative - Facebook algorithm change is to prevent citizens from getting news, becoming more informed, turning into activists @wblau
Hey @CaseyNewton - stop peddling Facebook propaganda that suppressing real news that exposes Trump WH corruption is a good thing for the public. Facebook will make more money off ads by charging publishers more, while hiding news at a critical time theverge.com/2018/1/14/1688…
"Facebook is a living, breathing crime scene for what happened in 2016 election — and only they have full access to what happened.” - @tristanharris

What Facebook is doing to suppress real news now is worse than what it didn’t do to suppress fake news nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news…
Of course advertisers see "merits" in Facebook's algorithm change - Facebook's army of well-funded sales people wine/dine/lobby marketers to spend more on Facebook ads (I know because I sat in on such sessions) - but make no mistake, this hurts real news digiday.com/marketing/adve…
Facebook is moving to suppress real news, pages, and video (so people don’t get depressed and stop clicking on ads) - this is particularly bad for activists and independent/citizen journalists - here’s how to ensure you don’t miss seeing content you value/trust in the newsfeed
Facebook’s new news feed experimentation is boosting fake news while it is simultaneously suppressing real news. What could go wrong.
Facebook causes addiction and mental stress (its own executives and investors have admitted to this, in this article), so it’s not a stretch to ask how it can be regulated - but Facebook spends tens of millions of dollars lobbying against regulation
Major ad money shifted from independent news outlets to Facebook (made $27 billion in ads last year) and news outlets who themselves started promoting Facebook and are now scrambling to retrain/beg their readers to change their settings to see their content first in the newsfeed.
Facebook tells Senate it recommended Russian propaganda to readers (126 million Americans saw such content) - exactly why Facebook ads, especially those of a political nature, should be regulated like TV/print ads, as the bipartisan Honest Ads Act proposes cnbc.com/2018/01/25/fac…
To what extent was Facebook’s lackadaisical attitude toward Russian political ad buys influenced by the fact that its early investors (theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/…) were Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and Kremlin-connected oligarch Usmanov?
Facebook, industry tech group lobbied German government against hate speech law even as Facebook and Twitter have become key outlets (theguardian.com/society/2018/j…) for hate speech. Rather than help curb such speech, they argue these laws hurt "free expression" irishtimes.com/business/techn…
Facebook can ban ads for crypto currencies (which will allow it to safeguard its own rival peer-to-peer payments offering) but it can't ban malicious ads taken out by hostile foreign actors? recode.net/2018/1/30/1695…
Facebook made $26 of each U.S. and Canadian user in Q4 of 2017 through advertising. At that rate, it makes $100+ of each U.S. and Canadian user over the course of a year. De-prioritizing/replacing news with fluff is only going to help its ad revenue. cnbc.com/2018/01/31/fac…
Facebook charging more for ads - that won’t stop deep-pocketed donors and their operatives from infiltrating your newsfeed with political content going into 2018 elections, drowning out independent writers and activists journalists and cnbc.com/2018/02/01/fac…
“Facebook user numbers drop for the first time in company’s history” - could just be a result of culling of the bots and fake accounts but also due to recent bad news and its attempts to control and suppress news content. alphr.com/facebook/10083…
“What the world needs now is capitalism with a conscience.”

Good people - even the really smart ones in Silicon Valley - are afraid to speak out loudly and consistently against injustice because they fear losing jobs or clients or friends.
Keep an eye on this - will be a growing movement - technologists launch an effort aimed at "educating students, parents and teachers about the dangers of technology, including the depression that can come from heavy use of social media" @tristanharris nytimes.com/2018/02/04/tec…
"Fake news interactions on Facebook tripled, while interactions with professional journalist sites fell 17%."

Brazil's biggest newspaper pulls its content from Facebook, accusing FB of encouraging fake news with an overhaul of its news feed algorithm. theguardian.com/technology/201…
A Cambodian opposition leader has filed a petition against Facebook, demanding Facebook disclose its transactions with his country’s authoritarian prime minister, whom he accuses of inflating his popularity through purchased “likes” and spreading fake news qz.com/1203637/facebo…
Facebook’s far-right gathering steam, using new tools Facebook rolled out for Italy’s elections bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
Facebook is now pointing users to download an Israeli wireless networking app it bought, without disclosing it's a Facebook-owned company.

The app also tracks users' (Twitter, Snap) apps, how often they're used and what websites users visit.

cnbc.com/2018/02/12/fac…
Tweaking how organic reach is measured is yet another move designed to push more people into buying Facebook ads
Facebook faces $125 million fine for violating privacy rights in Belgium. (Reminder: Facebook tracks the online behavior of people even if they are not on the company’s web site by placing cookies and invisible pixels on third-party web sites) reuters.com/article/us-fac…
Question remains: Why didn't Facebook flag such posts and suspicious activity? @robjective And what steps is it taking specifically to prevent this from happening again?
Following Mueller's indictment of Russians who gamed Facebook, Facebook says it will now start verifying ads by sending postcards to buyers of political ads to confirm they reside in the U.S.; recipient would have to enter code in postcard to buy the ad cnbc.com/2018/02/19/fac…
Of course, this new Facebook process for political ads can still be gamed: A shell company based in the U.S. but operating as an undercover foreign agent can set up a U.S. address, receive Facebook's postcard, and continue to buy political ads as normal
The only way Facebook can guarantee that nefarious orgs and dark money doesn't power political ads is to stop allowing political ads. Why are political ads necessary for a platform that purportedly exists to connect people, make the world more transparent?
The Russian information attack on the election did not stop with the hacking and leaking of DNC emails or the fire hose of false stories - they figured out how to turn the very social media tools Americans invented into engines of deception and propaganda nytimes.com/2017/09/07/us/…?
Talk about reeking of desperation: Facebook is polling users (cnbc.com/2018/02/15/fac…) about whether it is "good for the world"
1. Dan (@Scherlis) who donated to my efforts (thanks!) asks why does the media have a problem connecting the Trump dots like I and other self-trained "journalists" do. Speaking for myself, my tech background helps me filter out the signal from the noise and focus on what matters.
2. I've said this before: The way news is reported and analyzed is fundamentally broken. Add the fact that investigative journalism budgets got gutted at many news rooms since 2000 - especially after the Great Recession - conditioning the public to substitute fluff for news.
3. Self-trained journalists may not get everything right every time, but they are learning fast, and developing new skills, and more importantly, inspiring more new citizen journalists each day, which in turn is pressuring professional media folks to step up their game.
4. We also tend to rely too much on professional journalists and pundits to shape how we should think about the news, but the days of such passive consumption are numbered. There's never been a better time for people to develop critical thinking skills and contribute their voice.
5. Take @JeffreyToobin's New Yorker piece on Trump's Miss America pageant for example. It comes more than a year after my tweets on the topic. The wheels grind slowly at big publications, so my advice to amateur journos: Step up, get your ducks in a row, and you'll do fine.
Vox Media lays off 50 employees after Facebook algorithm change that suppress video content and publishers' posts in newsfeeds.

"Publishers’ pivot to video appears to have become a pivot to layoffs."

niemanlab.org/2018/02/post-f…
In 2010, I pitched an ad-free, subscription model (like Netflix) to Facebook and the idea quickly got shot down. They really wanted to track consumers and sell user data.

An early Facebook investor now wants Facebook to embrace the model I proposed.

barrons.com/articles/faceb…
Facebook was using Kaspersky Lab until last year to scan people's computers - Russia reportedly exploited Kaspersky's antivirus software to trawl US government systems for classified data. wired.com/story/facebook…
Facebook’s ad platform charged Trump much less than it did Clinton for ads because her ads were fact based and didn’t stoke enough xenophobia, racism or fear
Worth re-reading this piece: Trump's digital director describing how Facebook embedded staff in Trump campaign to help target voters. So did Google and Twitter.

The Almighty Dollar over ethics.

cbsnews.com/news/facebook-…
Bots on Facebook and Twitter are like “toxic waste” being dumped into the environment, Senator @amyklobuchar says, and argues that the companies should pay a fine if they can’t prevent bots from flooding the social web with vitriol. recode.net/2018/2/25/1705…
Other ways this Facebook facial recognition could be exploited:

- By advertisers: Send you targeted ads for anti-depressants, alcohol, or offers to indulge in "retail therapy"

- Law enforcement: See the massive facial recognition network China built huffingtonpost.com/entry/china-su…
Obama: Facebook, others are contributing to a fractured media environment, where people construct alternate realities, without a common set of facts.

“We have to have a serious conversation about the business models, the algorithms, and create more of a common conversation”
Facebook pulls the plug on a second newsfeed for news - why give people an opportunity to explore and discover real news when you can sell pricey ads to help promote fake news and propaganda, eh Zuckerberg? thenextweb.com/facebook/2018/…
Russian “activist” trolls shared more pieces of content on Facebook-owned Instagram (visual content can spread more widely) than they did on Facebook, and their propaganda reached at least 20 million people on Instagram. They also bought ads on Instagram.
While Russian trolls on Facebook grab the headlines, let's not forget how politicians use these tools to spread propaganda to win/hold onto power - take for example use of Facebook and Facebook-owned Whatsapp by Modi (India), Duterte (Philippines) - both using Trump's playbook
"Facebook creates and enforces ideological bubbles and pushes our emotional buttons…We will continue to see these threats to democracy, as long as Facebook has more than 2 billion users and continues making more than $10 billion per quarter."- @sivavaid
As I predicted, Facebook starts charging more for ads while its newsfeed throttles news and publisher content - ad prices up 122% YoY recode.net/2018/3/7/17087…
Sri Lanka shut down Facebook, and Facebook-owned WhatsApp, Instagram to stop anti-Muslim violence…Facebook being used by government officials to fuel the genocide in Myanmar - we rarely think about the dark side of Facebook beyond our own borders qz.com/1223787/sri-la…
This Facebook app is built by Israeli company, Onavo, it acquired - founders of Onavo worked for Israeli army intelligence (haaretz.com/amp/israel-new…) - app secretly collects your mobile browsing and third party app usage data even if you’re not on Facebook businessinsider.com/facebook-onavo…
When you upload a photo to Facebook, it knows your camera maker, exposure, latitude, longitude & upload IP address while its image recognition can recognize human faces with 98% accuracy but it can't flag malicious accounts, bots that pretend to be humans? 9to5mac.com/2018/03/12/how…
Pressure works, eventually: Facebook bans British hate group Britain First (its leader was convicted last week on counts of religiously aggravated harassment from videos they posted online), whose conspiracy videos were promoted by Trump through Twitter. usatoday.com/story/tech/201…
"Facebook continues to resist what may be the best way to learn more about digital propaganda, and aspects of social media that could be good for people: sharing its vast amount of anonymized data with a broad set of academic researchers." wired.com/story/its-time…
Facebook “suspends” Cambridge Analytica for not deleting data that it had taken “inappropriately” from users of the social network newsroom.fb.com/news/h/suspend… (related story: washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/t…)
This Facebook employee whose links to Cambridge Analytica are reportedly being investigated by Facebook, John Chancellor, describes himself as "a quantitative social psychologist"; he joined Facebook in Nov 2015, a year before the 2016 election money.cnn.com/2018/03/18/tec…
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