the 3,000 ads that have been linked to Russia are a drop in the bucket, even if they did reach millions of people. The real game is simply that Russian operatives created pages that reached people “organically,” ... their posts had been shared 340 million times. And those were six of 470 pages that Facebook has linked to Russian operatives. You’re probably talking billions of shares, with who knows how many views, and with what kind of specific targeting.
Over the last 10 years, America’s five largest tech firms have flooded Washington with lobbying money to the point where they now outspend Wall Street two to one. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon spent $49m on Washington lobbying last year, and there is a well-oiled revolving door of Silicon Valley executives to and from senior government positions.
Apple, Alphabet (parent of Google) and Facebook generated $333 billion of revenue combined last year with 205,000 employees worldwide. In 1993, three of the most successful, technologically oriented companies based in the Northeast — Kodak, IBM and AT&T — needed more than three times as many employees, 675,000, to generate 27 percent less in inflation-adjusted revenue.
In 2016, the corporate PACs associated with Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Amazon broke ranks with the traditional allegiance of the broad tech sector to the Democratic Party. All four donated more money to Republican Congressional candidates than they did to their Democratic opponents ... $2.1 million went to Republicans, and $1.5 million went to Democrats. These PACs did not contribute to presidential candidates.
Social networks will also be obliged to offer users "an easily recognizable, directly reachable, and constantly available" complaint process for "prosecutable content," which includes libel, slander, defamation, incitement to commit a crime, hate speech against a particular social group, and threats. The companies will then immediately have to check the complaints and delete all illegal content within seven days - while any content deemed "obviously illegal" must be deleted within 24 hours.
While concerns about political and media polarization online are longstanding, our study suggests that polarization was asymmetric. Pro-Clinton audiences were highly attentive to traditional media outlets, which continued to be the most prominent outlets across the public sphere, alongside more left-oriented online sites. But pro-Trump audiences paid the majority of their attention to polarized outlets that have developed recently, many of them only since the 2008 election season.
Facebook is now testing a system that relies on pattern recognition based on posts previously reported for suicide risk... The AI tool looks at words in the post and, especially, comments from friends -- such as "Are you okay?" and "I'm here to help" -- that may indicate someone is struggling.
Facebook is bundling a dozen different data companies to target an individual customer ... sources include detailed dossiers obtained from commercial data brokers about users’ offline lives ... Facebook’s categories range from innocuous groupings of people who like southern food to sensitive categories such as “Ethnic Affinity” which categorizes people based on their affinity for African-Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic groups.
The US, along with any sufficiently-connected country, is now only a few court directives, or a state-sponsored hack, away from an active surveillance state... The deportation force envisioned by Trump, targeted with court-released Facebook data, is a legal possibility ... Searches, emails, messages, transactions, browsing history, and millions of other data points the tech giants store can pinpoint millions of American’s identities with unrivaled precision.
Facebook has already enlisted select third-party fact-checkers—Snopes, Factcheck.org, ABC News, the AP, and Politifact at launch, all members of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Network—to comb through disputed stories and share their findings with the Facebook community at large. There are no financial arrangements between Facebook and the fact-checkers, or arrangements that would otherwise benefit the groups, and Facebook says it will add more partners going forward.