Facebook Estimates ’10 Million People in the US’ Saw Russia-Linked Ads

Facebook has publicly released information about the Russia-linked ads they shared with Congress, including the revelation that “an estimated 10 million people in the US saw the ads.” With all these reports recently about Russia-linked Facebook ads and accounts, Facebook’s Vice President of Policy and Communications Elliot Schrage put out a statement with information about the content and reach of the ads, among other things:
What was in the ads you shared with Congress? How many people saw them?
Most of the ads appear to focus on divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum, touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights. A number of them appear to encourage people to follow Pages on these issues.
Schrage says Facebook is doing better at catching more ads that violate the rules, while saying that paying for ads with Russian currency was not Continue reading "Facebook Estimates ’10 Million People in the US’ Saw Russia-Linked Ads"

CBS Fires Top Lawyer for Saying She Has No Sympathy for ‘Republican’ Shooting Victims

A top lawyer for CBS was fired today after saying she is “not even sympathetic” toward victims of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, as they may have been Republicans. The lawyer, Hayley Geftman-Gold, made these comments on a Facebook post just hours after at least 58 people were murdered and over 500 wounded at a country music festival in Las Vegas last night. “If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that [Republicans] will ever do the right thing. I’m actually not even sympathetic [because] country music fans often are Republican gun toters,” Geftman-Gold wrote on Facebook, according to Fox News. These comments were met with a massive backlash, causing Geftman-Gold to delete her Facebook and LinkedIn accounts and make her Twitter private. However, prior to deletion, observers noted her LinkedIn profile touted Geftman-Gold as “vice president and senior counsel for strategic transactions Continue reading "CBS Fires Top Lawyer for Saying She Has No Sympathy for ‘Republican’ Shooting Victims"

Tucker Carlson Mocks CNN’s Chris Cuomo For His ‘#StandFIRM’ Activism Facebook Video

Tucker Carlson took some shots at CNN anchor Chris Cuomo for his latest Facebook video post that involves an activism hashtag he’s trying to ignite with his followers. “CNN’s Chris Cuomo is an awfully busy man,” Carlson began. “Some days he is doing what he can to worsen America’s racial divide.  He’s doing a pretty good job on that. Others, he is warning regular Americans it is illegal to read leaked emails that are embarrassing to Hillary Clinton. Even with a packed schedule, he still takes time to post videos like this on Facebook, and we’re glad he does.” In the video, Cuomo has the hashtag “StandFIRM” written on a whiteboard with FIRM standing for “Fight Injustice, Reinforce Morality.” He told his followers that it applies to everything, from Puerto Rico to the health care debate to tax reform. “Well this video raises a lot of questions, some Continue reading "Tucker Carlson Mocks CNN’s Chris Cuomo For His ‘#StandFIRM’ Activism Facebook Video"

Russian Government Reportedly Linked to Fake Black Activist Social Media Accounts

Yesterday, CNN reported that one of the Facebook political ads purchased by a Russian troll farm during the 2016 presidential election was a Black Lives Matter advertisement targeting Ferguson and Baltimore. This indicated that the Kremlin was specifically targeting certain areas of the country with politically divisive social media content in an attempt to sow chaos and discord during the election season. This evening, CNN came out with another bombshell report showing that the Russian government also used a social media campaign on both Facebook and Twitter to try to exploit and amplify racial tensions during the election. The account, Blactivist, had over 360,000 likes on Facebook, which was actually more than the verified Black Lives Matter account. The Blactivist Twitter account was Continue reading "Russian Government Reportedly Linked to Fake Black Activist Social Media Accounts"

Facebook’s about to launch its news subscriptions initiative. The New York Times is reportedly sitting out; The Washington Post is in

Facebook is trying to climb out of a maelstrom of bad PR. It’s turning over several thousand Russia-linked political posts to Congressional investigators. The president is now unhappy with the platform: Facebook has “always been anti-Trump,” Donald Trump whined on Twitter on Wednesday. (Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a response that Facebook is doing it right, because both sides are angry at it, OK?!) Amid all that, the social media giant is about to launch its new subscriptions initiative, after Zuckerberg himself confirmed last month that Facebook would start testing it with a “small group of U.S. and European publishers.” The program will allow readers to subscribe to these news organizations directly through Facebook — Facebook won’t be taking a cut — and is reportedly launching sometime this week, according to analyst Ken Doctor. Who are these participating publishers? Many prominent news outlets have already pulled their work from Continue reading "Facebook’s about to launch its news subscriptions initiative. The New York Times is reportedly sitting out; The Washington Post is in"

Russian-Linked FB Group Reportedly Pushed Anti-Immigrant Message, Called Trump ‘Only Viable Option’

With the news that Facebook is handing over information to investigators regarding ads purchased by Russians during the election, there’s more information coming out about one apparently Russia-linked Facebook group that pushed pro-Trump messages. According to ABC News, the Facebook group Secured Borders has been identified by investigators as a “Russian fabrication designed to influence American voters during and after the presidential election.” And their message reportedly included not just anti-illegal immigrant messages, but the message that “the only viable option is to elect Trump.” Examples of such included in ABC’s report are image macros of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men and Dora the Explorer alongside text like “If wanting thieves, gang thugs, drug dealers, rapists, child molesters, murderers off the streets is racist… then I’m a racist.” The Daily Beast reported weeks ago that this group set up an event in Twin Falls, Continue reading "Russian-Linked FB Group Reportedly Pushed Anti-Immigrant Message, Called Trump ‘Only Viable Option’"

Russians Reportedly Bought Black Lives Matter Facebook Ad Targeting Ferguson and Baltimore

Earlier this month, Facebook confirmed that a troll farm tied to the Russian government had purchased $100,000 worth of political Facebook ads during the 2016 presidential election. After initially refusing to provide copies of the roughly 3,000 ads to Congressional investigators — only allowing Congress to view the ads briefly — the company eventually relented last week. It appears we are now getting a look at some of the advertisements that were being pushed out to Facebook users during the election. In a new report by CNN, one Facebook ad that the Russian purchased was a Black Lives Matter one that targeted the areas of Ferguson and Baltimore, where racial tensions have been high in recent years due to police violence against unarmed black men. Facebook had previously stated that roughly one-quarter of the Russian-bought political ads were targeted to specific geographical areas. However, they wouldn’t reveal which areas, Continue reading "Russians Reportedly Bought Black Lives Matter Facebook Ad Targeting Ferguson and Baltimore"