Julia Carrie Wong
Julia Carrie Wong
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Facebook planned to remove fake accounts in India – until it realized a BJP politician was involved

Facebook planned to remove fake accounts in India – until it realized a BJP politician was involved

Whistleblower points to double standard in Facebook’s enforcement of rules against powerful in San Francisco and in DelhiThu 15 Apr 2021 06.00 EDTLast modified on Thu 15 Apr 2021 06.02 EDTFacebook allowed a network of fake accounts to artificially inflate the popularity of an MP from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), for months after being alerted to the problem.The company was preparing to remove the fake accounts but paused when it found evidence that the politician was probably directly involved in the network, internal documents seen by the Guardian show.The company’s...

Apr 15
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How Facebook let fake engagement distort global politics: a whistleblower's account

How Facebook let fake engagement distort global politics: a whistleblower's account

Sophie Zhang detected networks of fake accounts supporting political leaders around the world.Photograph: Jason Henry/The GuardianThe inside story of Sophie Zhang’s battle to combat rampant manipulation as executives delayed and deflectedby in San FranciscoMain image:Sophie Zhang detected networks of fake accounts supporting political leaders around the world.Photograph: Jason Henry/The GuardianShortly before Sophie Zhang lost access to Facebook’s systems, she published one final message on the company’s internal forum, a farewell tradition at known as a “badge post”.“Officially, I’m a...

Apr 12
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‘Facebook isn’t interested in countries like ours’: Azerbaijan troll network returns months after ban

‘Facebook isn’t interested in countries like ours’: Azerbaijan troll network returns months after ban

State-backed harassment campaign targets journalists and dissidents in authoritarian country in San Francisco and in LondonTue 13 Apr 2021 04.00 EDTLast modified on Tue 13 Apr 2021 12.30 EDTA Guardian investigation has revealed how allowed an arm of Azerbaijan’s ruling party, the YAP, to carry out the harassment campaign for 14 months after an employee, Sophie Zhang, first alerted managers and executives to its existence in August 2019.In October 2020, Facebook that it was removing more than 8,000 Facebook and Instagram accounts and Pages linked to the YAP for violating its policy against...

Apr 13
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Revealed: the Facebook loophole that lets world leaders deceive and harass their citizens

Revealed: the Facebook loophole that lets world leaders deceive and harass their citizens

A Guardian investigation exposes the breadth of state-backed manipulation of the platform in San FranciscoMon 12 Apr 2021 04.00 EDTLast modified on Mon 12 Apr 2021 11.23 EDTFacebook has repeatedly allowed world leaders and politicians to use its platform to deceive the public or harass opponents despite being alerted to evidence of the wrongdoing.The Guardian has seen extensive internal documentation showing how Facebook handled more than 30 cases across 25 countries of politically manipulative behavior that was proactively detected by company staff.The investigation shows how Facebook has...

Apr 12
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Trump calls for end to violence he incited as pressure on White House mounts

Trump calls for end to violence he incited as pressure on White House mounts

More than 24 hours after he incited a mob to attack the US Capitol, has urged an end to the violence and finally acknowledged that Joe Biden will be the next president, saying in a video statement that “a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20” and promising a smooth transfer of power.The statement was posted on Twitter – one of the only social media platforms to which the president – following a day of silence after his unprecedented encouragement of rioters bent on insurrection.Hours later, Capitol police confirmed that a police officer had died during the attack on...

Jan 8
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The year of Karen: how a meme changed the way Americans talked about racism

The year of Karen: how a meme changed the way Americans talked about racism

The image of a white woman calling police on Black people put the lie to the myth of racial innocenceSun 27 Dec 2020 01.00 ESTLast modified on Sun 27 Dec 2020 01.02 ESTThe video footage of the two incidents loomed over the strange, violent summer of coronavirus and civil unrest as a kind of digital diptych representing the state of racism – and whiteness – in America in 2020.On one side we had Floyd being slowly and mercilessly suffocated to death beneath the knee of the white male police officer Derek Chauvin, a brutal portrait of the implacable indifference to Black life that defines...

Dec 27
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'We all suffer': why San Francisco techies hate the city they transformed

'We all suffer': why San Francisco techies hate the city they transformed

t was a beautiful winter day in , and Zoe was grooving to the soundtrack of the roller-skating musical Xanadu as she rode an e-scooter to work. The 29-year-old tech worker had just passed the Uber building when, without warning, a homeless man jumped into the bike lane with his dog, blocking her path.She slammed on the brakes, flew four feet into the air and landed on the pavement, bleeding. “It was one of those hardening moments where I was like, ‘Even I am being affected,’” she recalled.It should be noted that Zoe, who asked not to be identified by her real name because she was not...

July 1, 2019
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Facebook to ban QAnon-themed groups, pages and accounts in crackdown

Facebook to ban QAnon-themed groups, pages and accounts in crackdown

Policy update comes after the company’s initial attempt failed to stem misinformation and harm from the conspiracy movement Tue 6 Oct 2020 19.06 EDTFirst published on Tue 6 Oct 2020 17.16 EDTFacebook will ban any groups, pages or Instagram accounts that “represent” QAnon, the company announced Tuesday, in a sharp escalation of its attempt to crack down on the antisemitic conspiracy movement that has .The policy will apply to groups, pages or Instagram accounts whose names or descriptions suggest that they are dedicated to the QAnon movement, a spokesperson explained. It will not apply to...

Oct 6
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‘They don’t think it’s important’: Ellen Pao on why Facebook can’t beat hate

‘They don’t think it’s important’: Ellen Pao on why Facebook can’t beat hate

Interview in San FranciscoThe tech executive known for her work to detoxify Reddit says social media bosses know what’s right – they just need to act Tue 21 Jul 2020 06.00 EDTFinally, it seems, content moderation on social media is making some moves away from the free speech absolutism of the early internet and toward a more nuanced understanding of what kind of rules are necessary to enable free expression for the broadest possible range of people.One of the first tech executives to take a stand for this more holistic view of protecting free expression on the web was Ellen Pao, who took...

July 21, 2020
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Down the rabbit hole: how QAnon conspiracies thrive on Facebook

Down the rabbit hole: how QAnon conspiracies thrive on Facebook

n early May, QAnon braced for a purge. Facebook had a small subset – five pages, six groups and 20 profiles – of the community on the social network, and as word of the bans spread, followers of Q began preparing for a broader sweep.Some groups changed their names, substituting “17” for “Q” (the 17th letter of the alphabet); others shared links to back-up accounts on alternative social media platforms with looser rules.More than just another internet conspiracy theory, QAnon is a movement of people who interpret as a kind of gospel the online messages of an anonymous figure – “Q” – who...

June 25, 2020
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theguardian.com

theguardian.com

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