• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

News Drama Business Facebook ex-employee: "I have personally made decisions that affected national presidents without oversight.."

Schrödinger's cat

Gold Member
Dec 15, 2011
9,184
25,465
1,165
An anonymous source The BBC writes:

"In her memo, parts of which were published by Buzzfeed without her permission, Ms Zhang said: "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.

"I have personally made decisions that affected national presidents without oversight, and taken action to enforce against so many prominent politicians globally that I've lost count," she added.
Examples of work she refers to in her memo include:
Facebook took nine months to act on information about bots being used to boost president Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras
  • In Azerbaijan, the ruling political party used thousands of bots to harass the opposition
  • 10.5 million fake reactions and fans were removed from high-profile politicians in Brazil and the US in the 2018 elections
  • A Nato researcher told Facebook he had seen Russian activity on a high-profile US political figure, which Ms Zhang removed
  • Bot accounts were discovered in Bolivia and Ecuador but the issue was not prioritised due to workload
  • She found and removed 672,000 fake accounts acting against health ministries around the world during the pandemic
  • In India she worked to remove a politically sophisticated network of more than 1,000 actors working to influence local elections in Delhi
"Facebook projects an image of strength and competence to the outside world... but the reality is that many of our actions are slapdash and haphazard accidents."
She said the fact she had to make countless decisions about many different countries took a toll on her health and left her feeling responsible when civil unrest took place in locations that she had not prioritised for action.
Carole Cadwalladr, a UK journalist who exposed the Cambridge Analytica scandal, tweeted: "The speed and scale of the damage Facebook is doing to democracies around the world is truly terrifying."
Reminder 1:
Twitter, another social media giant, had a hack a month or two ago that resulted in numerous high-profile accounts - such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Joe Biden's - being compromised and making statements to promote a Bitcoin scam.

As part of the fallout of this hack, some of Twitter's internal controls were exposed in a screenshot, that showed means of blacklisting and ghost-controlling account activity. This occurred after Twitter themselves had strenuously denied they had any such controls.

Reminder 2:
Social Media giants intend to control the narrative and declare themselves the arbiters of truth for the forthcoming US Presidential Election results:

--

In my opinion, these are grossly compromised platforms that, even without being compromised by outsiders, cannot be trusted to wield the pervasive influence the have with honesty or integrity.

Social media is a mistake.
 
Last edited:

oagboghi2

Member
Apr 15, 2018
8,565
13,613
560
As long as democrats think they control these platforms, nothing will be done.

Let's be clear, these websites aren't doing anything wrong. The media are just objecting because they don't like the results they are getting back. When Barack Obama used social media to galvanize his base, journalists masturbated to the "technocrat in chief". When websites like Twitter were being used by activists to topple regimes in Libya and the middle east, no one blinks an eye. If anything the website is praised. When communists and anarchists use social media to coordinate, no articles are written.

But when the "other side" use social media, now it's a problem.
 

cryptoadam

... and he cannot lie
Feb 21, 2018
20,317
38,988
1,160
Honestly not sure what you can do about it. Its the nature of the beast. You can get rid of bots and what not, but FB and Twatter love the bots because it drives revenue by creating fake clicks/followers.

Politicians need to detach from FB/Twitter and not the other away around. You can't get the bias out and they won't be secure. So either they live with it or get out.
 

Schrödinger's cat

Gold Member
Dec 15, 2011
9,184
25,465
1,165
Honestly not sure what you can do about it. Its the nature of the beast. You can get rid of bots and what not, but FB and Twatter love the bots because it drives revenue by creating fake clicks/followers.

Politicians need to detach from FB/Twitter and not the other away around. You can't get the bias out and they won't be secure. So either they live with it or get out.
Remove protections. Add regulatory measures and penalties.

Social media giants will have no choice but to sort their shit out or be sued to the moon and back.
 

Greedings

Member
May 23, 2016
2,533
2,500
490
Carole Cadwalladr, a UK journalist who exposed the Cambridge Analytica scandal, tweeted: "The speed and scale of the damage Facebook is doing to democracies around the world is truly terrifying."
What bullshit. If Facebook didn't exist, these people would find other ways to influence things, like they always have.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cryptoadam

poppabk

Member
Jan 21, 2008
11,812
738
1,190
USA
If it's not social media it's going to be something else - I mean who here thinks the mainstream media are unbiased and don't have an impact on elections.
 

vpance

Member
Jun 20, 2005
7,996
1,549
1,630
Who is going to smack down these social media giants? If Trump doesn't do it in the next 4 years the mind virus will reach global saturation.
 

FreedomOfSpeech

Gold Member
Dec 4, 2019
1,200
1,766
495
Social media is fine.
It's the users that are the problem.

It's 2020 and the majority still has no clue about how computers work. No consciousness about how computer code can be put to use.

Do some programming and you soon realize that whatever you see on your screen, is just put there by some human that wrote code. And sometimes by the code of many humans. Probably 0 of those have your interests in high regard. But really it just takes 1 of low moral fibre.

People still think their moronic password generation schemes are strong. "They will never guess my cat's name!"

It's like when the year is -500 and you just suddenly give everyone a car. There's gonna be a lot of car crashes. Are cars the problem?
 
  • Empathy
Reactions: K1Expwy

oagboghi2

Member
Apr 15, 2018
8,565
13,613
560
How? They would retweet on newspaper?
The smartphone allowing general audiences in the internet was a mistake.
This logic is stupid and disturbed. Social media is just another means of communication. That's all. Should we limit who can use the internet? What's next? Who can use a phone? Who can write a letter? Who can talk?

Ultimately it's the users that matter.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Greedings

Paracelsus

Member
Jun 24, 2007
10,066
2,432
1,370
This logic is stupid and disturbed. Social media is just another means of communication. That's all. Should we limit who can use the internet? What's next? Who can use a phone? Who can write a letter? Who can talk?

Ultimately it's the users that matter.
It is until these people need a new ATM card because they lost the old one, you have to get them through the process and they are quite literally like the mentally challenged.
These people know nothing, they don't even understand why Facebook and Gmail should never share the same password, let alone more dangerous sites like the bank one.
These people browse the internet thanks to the smartphone, know nothing, retweet garbage and are sensitive to garbage the politically charged media tells them.
 

oagboghi2

Member
Apr 15, 2018
8,565
13,613
560
It is until these people need a new ATM card because they lost the old one, you have to get them through the process and they are quite literally like the mentally challenged.
These people know nothing, they don't even understand why Facebook and Gmail should never share the same password, let alone more dangerous sites like the bank one.
These people browse the internet thanks to the smartphone, know nothing, retweet garbage and are sensitive to garbage the politically charged media tells them.
What is this nonsense? Lost ATM card, sharing passwords, what are you talking about?

People have always been sensitive to media and the narratives they push. The answer isn't to kick them off the internet, (while you stay on it of course🙄)
 

Paracelsus

Member
Jun 24, 2007
10,066
2,432
1,370
What is this nonsense? Lost ATM card, sharing passwords, what are you talking about?

People have always been sensitive to media and the narratives they push. The answer isn't to kick them off the internet, (while you stay on it of course🙄)
I'm saying you're being overly inclusive for the sake of it, because you've never met truly ignorant people.
 
  • Like
Reactions: raduque

godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
Mar 15, 2007
14,255
1,867
1,570
Social media is fine.
It's the users that are the problem.

It's 2020 and the majority still has no clue about how computers work. No consciousness about how computer code can be put to use.

Do some programming and you soon realize that whatever you see on your screen, is just put there by some human that wrote code. And sometimes by the code of many humans. Probably 0 of those have your interests in high regard. But really it just takes 1 of low moral fibre.

People still think their moronic password generation schemes are strong. "They will never guess my cat's name!"

It's like when the year is -500 and you just suddenly give everyone a car. There's gonna be a lot of car crashes. Are cars the problem?
The lack of responsibility of social media users is not the only problem or even remotely the main one. Social media content recommendation algorithms act like a drug triggering users to generate engagement. Whether this content has a positive or negative impact on the users or society has no bearing on the goals of the social media platforms which seek ad revenue as the only metric they optimize for.

Social media should be regulated like Tobacco, you are free to join, but a disclaimer should be at the very top informing you of all the problems associated with these artificial interactions controlled by a private entity seeking to make money off your time spent on the platform.
 
Last edited:
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: Schrödinger's cat

Greedings

Member
May 23, 2016
2,533
2,500
490
How? They would retweet on newspaper?
The smartphone allowing general audiences in the internet was a mistake.
I guess the printing press never influenced politics.
Come on, what are you saying? People can’t talk to others or influence others without the internet. Especially governments.
 

epicnemesis

Member
May 9, 2008
1,132
1,741
1,165
People fail to realize how insidious the AI that drives your feed is. Watch ”the social dilemma” on Netflix. It just came out and is pretty eye opening. Social media is reshaping society, and it’s for the worst. It’s not the users that are the problem. It’s the whole system.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

Schrödinger's cat

Gold Member
Dec 15, 2011
9,184
25,465
1,165
People fail to realize how insidious the AI that drives your feed is. Watch ”the social dilemma” on Netflix. It just came out and is pretty eye opening. Social media is reshaping society, and it’s for the worst. It’s not the users that are the problem. It’s the whole system.
Jaron Lanier lays it out pretty well here. 3 minutes in is the truth of it all:
 
Last edited:
  • Strength
Reactions: DeepEnigma

raduque

Member
Mar 29, 2017
387
443
335
Inclusive to who?

Who are the people who should be allowed to communicate, in your world?
Its not terribly difficult to read into their meaning: technically savvy people are who belong on the internet. The average unwashed idiot who doesn't even know that Smasung Galaxy phones run Android, dont.
 
Last edited:

Boswollocks

Member
Apr 19, 2019
7,473
11,659
770
Mars
I've said time and time again, both online and IRL that 75% of the 'people' you interact with on social media are fucking bots.

Facebook et al don't get paid by you being happy, they get paid by you being antagonised in to a lengthy debate going back and forth. The longer you are on their platform, the more money they earn from your personal data.

Using NLP and algorithms it is easy to keep you arguing for hours.

We need to bring back the 90's phrase of "Don't believe anything you read on the internet"