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Mark Zuckerberg is betting Facebook’s future on the metaverse - The Verge
www.theverge.com
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An interview with Mark Z's, focusing principally on his "overarching goal ... to help bring the metaverse to life... convergence of physical, augmented, and virtual reality in a shared online space... [Defined as] spanning physical and virtual ... contain a fully fledged economy ... unprecedented interoperability” - the latter sounding v…

Here's a Look Inside Facebook's Data Wars - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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CrowdTangle, "running quasi-independently inside Facebook since being acquired in 2016" was broken up because ... "journalists and researchers were using CrowdTangle... to analyze Facebook ... dig up information considered unhelpful" by Alex Schultz, CMO & VP of analytics. His "Team Selective Disclosure won" - sh…

A privacy war is raging inside the W3C - Protocol — The people, power and politics of tech
www.protocol.com
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Fascinating longread: "inside story of how the W3C ... became a key battleground in the global fight for web privacy", covering:how a few companies (browser engineers) traditionally dominate W3C (pre-vote) conversations,new & disruptive entrants to W3C working groups fighting to save existing ad-tech models following Google's la…

Facebook Algorithm Promoted Posts Supporting Myanmar’s Military
time.com
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Facebook’s own recommendation algorithms have been inviting users to like pages that share pro-military propaganda that violates the platform’s rules... in 2018 the social media company admitted it could have done more to prevent incitement of violence in the run-up to a military campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority ...hired more than 100…

Cory Doctorow: IP – Locus Online
locusmag.com
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First a definition of (the importance of) "Interoperability – the thing Facebook uses to slurp stuff in from the open web – is the key to self-determination." Without it:you're trapped: "leaving Facebook means leaving your communities, your relationships... your presence on Facebook is the reason someone else can’t go...you&#x…

Facebook Is Dead (It Just Doesn’t Know It Yet)
bettermarketing.pub
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Interesting piece on the reverse side of the network effect: the more people leave, the faster the remainder leave. So what will make people leave?Gen Z want privacy, hate bullying/speech, don’t like ads and think "Facebook is for moms and grandparents""Millennials Are Ready to Ditch... too old to bicker with strangers... [and] stil…

Feeling Stuck on Twitter and Facebook? So Is Everyone Else. - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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Common complaints about social media platforms "sound contradictory. They’re:accelerators for extremism that simultaneously uphold suffocating consensuswastes of attention and should play a smaller role in people’s lives; however, they also need to be improved, refined and purged of bad actors, advanced surveillance machines ... routinely s…

Facebook Employees Leaving As Hate Speech Festers
www.buzzfeednews.com
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roughly 1 of every 1,000 pieces of content ... violates ... rules on hate speech... even with artificial intelligence and third-party moderators, the company was “deleting less than 5% of all of the hate speech posted to Facebook.”...civic integrity team... charged with protecting the democratic process and reducing misinformation ... recently dis…

Facebook Manipulated the News You See to Appease Republicans, Insiders Say – Mother Jones
www.motherjones.com
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When changing their Newsfeed algorithm, Facebook's tests found "a dramatic impact on the reach of right-wing “junk sites,”... [by] January 2018 a second iteration dialed up the harm to progressive-leaning news organizations instead... Mother Jones was singled out as one that would suffer... Daily Wire was identified as one that would be…

Facebook Quietly Suspended Political Group Recommendations Ahead Of The US Presidential Election
www.buzzfeednews.com
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"Facebook quietly stopped recommending that people join online groups dealing with political or social issues", and will "assess when to lift them afterwards, but they are temporary." This part of the Facebook's AI plays a key role in pushing "people down a path of radicalization... groups reinforce like-minded views …

Thread by @kevinroose on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App
threadreaderapp.com
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An interesting corrective: here's the Tech columnist for the New York Times, claiming Facebook is flooded with right-wing misinformation, not all labelled as such - and "it's not clear that labels are doing much". Most people - including, usually, me - will read that tweet, have their beliefs confirmed and move on. What's…

A new study finds that Facebook is not censoring conservatives despite their repeated attacks | Media Matters for America
www.mediamatters.org
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right-leaning pages outperformed ... or performed similarly to left-leaning pages... consistently earned more average weekly interactions than left-leaning pages... both ... earned similar engagement rates... right-leaning Facebook pages tallied ... 43% of total interactions earned by pages posting about American political news, despite accounting…

09/11/2020
Opinion | Facebook serves as an echo chamber, especially for conservatives. Blame its algorithm. - The Washington Post
www.washingtonpost.com

Summary of peer-reviewed research - “Understanding Echo Chambers and Filter Bubbles: The Impact of Social Media on Diversification and Partisan Shifts in News Consumption” - by its authors, who found:more time spent on Facebook, the more polarized their online news consumption becomes...Facebook usage is five times more polarizing for conservative…

How Facebook and Twitter Handled Their First Major Election Day Tests | by Sarah Emerson | Nov, 2020 | OneZero
onezero.medium.com
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Several of the president’s tweets overlaid with disclaimers ... invoking Twitter's Civic Integrity Policy, which prevents users from manipulating elections. Trump’s tweets also effectively throttled by preventing other users from amplifying them. Facebook’s measures were less accusatory, attaching an informational label.Neither stopped Trump …

How The Epoch Times Created a Giant Influence Machine - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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"Falun Gong-backed newspaper used aggressive Facebook tactics and misinformation to create an anti-China, pro-Trump media empire" - from a "low-budget newspaper ... handed out free on New York street corners" to "one of the country’s most powerful digital publishers... a leading purveyor of right-wing misinformation"…

Facebook Seeks Shutdown of NYU Research Project Into Political Ad Targeting - WSJ
www.wsj.com

Facebook threatens with legal action NY academics seeking to study Facebook's political ad targeting because their Ad Observer is a "scraping tool". The project collects data unavailable on Facebook's political ad archive: targeting data, geography, political contest, etc.., which they say now violates their rules established i…

Opinion | Facebook and Twitter Are Still Tinkering With Democracy - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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Another analysis - with a lot of useful links - of the way social platforms managed the NYPost story, and what it tells us "about the status of social media companies’ reform efforts, and [how]... they are still failing to safeguard the democratic process?"First some facts:The NYPost article's "sourcing was so dubious that at l…

Social Media and the Hunter Biden Report - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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The platforms started doing what people concerned about disinformation have been asking for, and immediately came under fire from people concerned about censorship.When The New York Post published a story supposedly incriminating Hunter Biden "YouTube largely did nothing, Facebook deprioritized the Post story (slowing spread until 3rd party f…

Facebook Stymied Traffic to Left-Leaning News Outlets: Report
gizmodo.com

Facebook's 2017 newsfeed algorithm tweak intentionally reduced traffic to left-leaning outlets " to avoid adding fuel to critics’ argument that the platform has an anti-conservative bias"... and overcorrected."Mother Jones saw a roughly $400,000 drop in the site’s annual revenue"

Domestic v. foreign disinformation: A question of timing (US2020 Disinformation news, ed. 4)
medium.com
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There are two possible reasons why we are not talking as much about foreign interference. Both could be true. Only one is good news.

Facebook Banned Holocaust Denial. What Took Them So Long? | Time
time.com
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Facebook's now explicitly banning "any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust, after years of allowing people to deny that the genocide occurred", reversing their longtime stance of not trying to define truth.According to "Facebook’s former head of global elections integrity for political ads ... [Zuckerberg] still seems…

Facebook and Twitter struggle to crack down on QAnon - Vox
www.vox.com
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“It’s so easy to feel you’re special or in on something.” - James Wolfe, 45, who was "introduced [to Qanon] by a friend to the idea in late 2017... [when he] was recently unemployed and recovering from a serious physical injury", and quickly "started spending as much as eight hours a day" before recovering "from QAnon aft…

Facebook completely bans QAnon and labels it a ‘militarized social movement’ - The Verge
www.theverge.com
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All forms of content related to QAnon are banned, excepting posts from individual profiles, "even if they contain no violent content" - a significant update of Facebook's anti-Q August sweep - effectively treating it as an “identified Militarized Social Movement... no different than an extremist militia group, but not quite on the l…

Trump and the Limits of Content Moderation | WIRED
www.wired.com
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Criticisms of social media platforms for allowing disinfo and hate speech to flourish are accurate, but sometimes also wishful thinking: "if only Mark Zuckerberg got his act together, American politics would get back to normal"A disinfo video gone viral may get half a million views - the first Trump-Biden "debate was probably seen b…

Facebook pledged to remove misinformation about voting posted by Trump. It's not following through.  - Popular Information
popular.info
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The new label makes clear that Facebook understands Trump is posting misinformation about whether votes are counted. But it is not fulfilling its stated policy to remove the post. 

Breaking democracy to hold power (US2020 Disinformation news, ed. 3)
medium.com
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How a decades-long election delegitimisation campaign, amplified by social media disinformation, intersects with the death of a Chief Justice in a GoT-worthy season finale of “US democracy: Endgame”.

Why the right-wing has a massive advantage on Facebook - POLITICO
www.politico.com
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"the right is better at connecting with people on a visceral level", according to Facebook, portraying themselves as a neutral mirror. Rightwing content resonates by "speaking to "an incredibly strong, primitive emotion" by touching on "nation, protection, the other, anger, fear.""This may be true, but it&#x…

‘“Holy s---” is what we’re thinking’: Inside Facebook's reckoning with 2020 - POLITICO
www.politico.com
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A tour of the year from Zuckerberg's original position - that private companies should not be censoring politicians or the news in a democracy - to the most recent U-turn, after a year of exploring options: from continuing to do nothing through to Twitter's position - banning all political ads."field testing revealed that none of th…

While Facebook works to create an oversight board, industry experts formed their own
www.nbcnews.com
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a group to analyze and critique Facebook's content moderation decisions, policies and other platform issues in the run-up to the presidential election... Facebook's own won't be ready for the election...The name - "Real Facebook Oversight Board" - is misleading: it won't hear users' claims or appeals; more of an …

Facebook will reject ads that falsely claim election victory
www.fastcompany.com

Facebook reacted quickly, but it was reaction, not proaction, and therein lies the problem.When I saw and Queued this article, they'd confirmed to FastCompany that "political campaigns would be able to place new ads on Facebook starting November 4" which meant Trump could advertise an election victory before it was confirmed. By the…

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