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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, September 19, 2021

In the wake of the 2016 election, Facebook knew it had a problem. Pages and fake accounts created by the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency had spread through the social network and drawn massive engagement from real users. Facebook knew it had to get things under control.

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...But years later, Facebook's own internal research teams revealed that troll farms were still reaching massive audiences, even if they didn't have large direct followings. The company's own algorithms pushed the troll content onto users who had not expressed interest in the pages, expanding the trolls' reach exponentially. A report detailing the research was leaked to MIT Technology Review by a former employee.

When the report was published in 2019, troll farms were reaching 100 million Americans and 360 million people worldwide every week. In any given month, Facebook was showing troll farm posts to 140 million Americans. Most of the users never followed any of the pages. Rather, Facebook's content-recommendation algorithms had forced the content on over 100 million Americans weekly. "A big majority of their ability to reach our users comes from the structure of our platform and our ranking algorithms rather than user choice," the report said.

The troll farms appeared to single out users in the US. While globally more people saw the content by raw numbers"360 million every week by Facebook's own accounting"troll farms were reaching over 40 percent of all Americans....



#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-09-18 08:14 PM | Reply

Related...

"I Have Blood on My Hands": A Whistleblower Says Facebook Ignored Global Political Manipulation
www.buzzfeednews.com

...Facebook ignored or was slow to act on evidence that fake accounts on its platform have been undermining elections and political affairs around the world, according to an explosive memo sent by a recently fired Facebook employee and obtained by BuzzFeed News.

The 6,600-word memo, written by former Facebook data scientist Sophie Zhang, is filled with concrete examples of heads of government and political parties in Azerbaijan and Honduras using fake accounts or misrepresenting themselves to sway public opinion. In countries including India, Ukraine, Spain, Brazil, Bolivia, and Ecuador, she found evidence of coordinated campaigns of varying sizes to boost or hinder political candidates or outcomes, though she did not always conclude who was behind them.

"In the three years I've spent at Facebook, I've found multiple blatant attempts by foreign national governments to abuse our platform on vast scales to mislead their own citizenry, and caused international news on multiple occasions," wrote Zhang, who declined to talk to BuzzFeed News. Her LinkedIn profile said she "worked as the data scientist for the Facebook Site Integrity fake engagement team" and dealt with "bots influencing elections and the like."...


#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-09-18 08:17 PM | Reply

Facebook needs 100 times more moderators and people manning their phones. They also need to be fined heavily for their failures.

This is true of other social media companies though.

#3 | Posted by Tor at 2021-09-18 08:22 PM | Reply

No social media outlet should ever be allowed to control so many accounts. Break it up into 50 companies. All monopolies are evil and will be corrupted eventually. Mark Zuckerberg should be considered a pariah in our society.

#4 | Posted by danni at 2021-09-19 05:39 AM | Reply

Facebook needs to go the way of MySpace.

#5 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2021-09-19 02:04 PM | Reply

This is a tricky issue. Almost everyone agrees that Facebook and other platforms have a responsibility to stop abuse of and on their networks, whether it involves national security issues or petty stuff like phishing memes, but there's only so much they can do and they've already gotten lots of flak for trying to do more and ending up moderating content in a dubious fashion many times. Mandating they hire more moderators would also have to apply to many of their would-be competitors and drive them out of business, making Facebook and other existing tech giants even more powerful and less accountable in the long run.

The best strategy is probably to try to educate people that their are bad actors on the internet. I do that every time I see one of those phishing memes that ask about your favorite movie, the street you grew up in, your first car, etc.

#6 | Posted by sentinel at 2021-09-19 07:20 PM | Reply

This is a Liberal only problem. I don't know anyone that actually uses Facebook or Twitter at this point. Given the money they are still pulling in, there are obviously a bunch of users still but they are not conservatives. So, the constant fake news pushed on facebook and twitter - which is the major news source for young/liberals is only rotting the brains of those with pre-existing mental problems.

Rather than complain about troll farms, etc - STOP USING SOCIAL MEDIA. Study after study has shown them to be toxic. Why continue to use them?

#7 | Posted by Skeptical at 2021-09-19 07:41 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

"STOP USING SOCIAL MEDIA. Study after study has shown them to be toxic. Why continue to use them?"

What do you think you're using right now? :-)

#8 | Posted by sentinel at 2021-09-19 08:01 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

"What do you think you're using right now? :-)
#8 | POSTED BY SENTINELZ"

This is a highly censored message board. If the owner actually made money off of it, I would not use it. I think they keep it around as a public service so the drunken, angry liberal can spread their hate on here rather than in the real world.

#9 | Posted by Skeptical at 2021-09-19 08:18 PM | Reply | Funny: 3 | Newsworthy 1

"there are obviously a bunch of users still but they are not conservatives"

So who's posting all the conservative content?
And who's liking it and sharing it?

#10 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-09-19 08:26 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#9
Influence peddling apparently doesn't need a real world to be real on the world wide web.

#11 | Posted by LesWit at 2021-09-19 08:27 PM | Reply

"The best strategy is probably to try to educate people that their are bad actors on the internet."

Facebook is a bad actor on the Internet.

#12 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-09-19 08:27 PM | Reply

"#12 | POSTED BY SNOOFY"

You are just salty because your one myspace friend, Tom, was run out of business by Facebook. I would bet that outside of this website, I can count on one hand how many people you interact with in person. That is the source of your anger and desire to go back to bunker living. You want to normalize your existence.

#13 | Posted by Skeptical at 2021-09-19 09:09 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"I would bet that outside of this website, I can count on one hand how many people you interact with in person."

What's with "outside of this website?"
Interacting with people on this website counts?

#14 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-09-19 09:24 PM | Reply

"You are just salty because your one myspace friend, Tom"

^
That was funny. You have talent. It's a shame you don't use it.

#15 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-09-19 09:27 PM | Reply

That's why I rarely go into that silly site.

#16 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2021-09-20 05:33 AM | Reply

This is a highly censored message board. If the owner actually made money off of it, I would not use it. I think they keep it around as a public service so the drunken, angry liberal can spread their hate on here rather than in the real world.
#9 | POSTED BY SKEPTICAL AT 2021-09-19 08:18 PM | FLAG: Drunken, Angry Layabout

#17 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2021-09-20 06:48 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"You are just salty because ... "

Fisherman's Friends, right?

When I was just a little lad or so me mammy told me,
(Away haul away, we'll haul away Joe.)
That if I didn't kiss the girls me lips would grow a-moldy.
(Away haul away, we'll haul away Joe.)

#18 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2021-09-20 06:53 AM | Reply

@#7 ... This is a Liberal only problem. I don't know anyone that actually uses Facebook or Twitter at this point. Given the money they are still pulling in, there are obviously a bunch of users still but they are not conservatives. ...

Facebook executives weren't happy when their own data showed it perpetuates a right-wing echo chamber
www.businessinsider.com

...Facebook's best-performing pages in the US are often entirely right-wing publications....

#19 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-09-20 10:52 AM | Reply

Danni sounds like a side line reporter for the mentally handicapped, by the mentally handicapped.

Please explain how you break Facebook into 50 different companies.

Do my wife and I get our accounts on the same platform? What about my good friend Greg? will he and I be on the same one?

#20 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2021-09-20 12:11 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

We are one.
~ Greg

#21 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2021-09-20 12:32 PM | Reply

This is a Liberal only problem. I don't know anyone that actually uses Facebook or Twitter at this point.

#7 | Posted by Skeptical

Because your cult left in a temper tantrum when FB wouldnt allow you to post covid lies or russian propaganda about the election for a few weeks.

You had to go find new networks with even lower standards.

Liberals aren't the lunatics spreading stories about jewish space lasers that they're convinced are true because their buddy posted it to facebook.

#22 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2021-09-20 02:45 PM | Reply

That is the source of your anger and desire to go back to bunker living. You want to normalize your existence.

#13 | Posted by Skeptical

Your entire cult lives in a bunker where real news is not allowed in. Someone brings in real news and says the election wasn't a fraud and what happens to them? Ask liz cheney.

#23 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2021-09-20 02:47 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Skeptical" is a fuggin' idiot.

Stop responding to the child's garbage.

#24 | Posted by Angrydad at 2021-09-20 04:27 PM | Reply

Skeptical is posting from the Ruskie troll farm in St Petersburg, Russia.

#25 | Posted by a_monson at 2021-09-21 12:23 AM | Reply

"STOP USING SOCIAL MEDIA. Study after study has shown them to be toxic. Why continue to use them?"

What do you think you're using right now? :-)

#8 | Posted by sentinel at 2021-09-19 08:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

Giving the bull***t he pushes on a daily basis he is proof how toxic social media can be.

#26 | Posted by Nixon at 2021-09-21 08:08 AM | Reply

.Facebook's best-performing pages in the US are often entirely right-wing publications....

Well yeah, they are sheep that need to be hand fed talking points that feed into their pre-ordained world view. They are not interested in truth unless it supports their agenda.

#27 | Posted by Nixon at 2021-09-21 08:11 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I don't know anyone that actually uses Facebook or Twitter at this point.

#7 | Posted by Skeptical

Of course you don't you poor dear. You were all kicked off for your anti social behavior.

We are here to provide you an outlet for your frustrations!

Let it all out qtard. Spout your rubbish!

We are here for you now that Trumpy's foray into social media has failed so miserably.

The closure of Donald Trump's blog less than a month after it was launched, as traffic dwindled, highlights the importance of social networks in spreading the populist message: after the former president was expelled from Twitter and Facebook, he has simply faded away, his message is diluted, and his followers are quietly returning to normality and forgetting the conspiracy theories they were fed by social networks. Without them and their algorithms, Donald Trump is simply another clown spouting rubbish on his website, with no hope of returning to power any time soon.

www.forbes.com

#28 | Posted by donnerboy at 2021-09-21 11:38 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"This is a highly censored message board. If the owner actually made money off of it, I would not use it."

It's "moderated".

And I bet Rcade makes a little money off this site. The hamsters powering this site running around in their hamster wheels don't eat much.

If he does make money does that mean you will go away?

Rcade!!!

Can you help us out here?

#29 | Posted by donnerboy at 2021-09-21 12:06 PM | Reply

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