Engadget: House committee hopes to question Facebook over group privacy. “Facebook is facing even more government scrutiny this week. Members of the House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee have asked to meet Facebook over concerns about group privacy. They’re responding to an FTC complaint alleging that the social network exposed the sensitive information of group members. Women in a discussion group for the BRCA gene mutation found out that it was possible to download personal data (such as email addresses and names) in bulk, making it too easy to share info outside the group.”
BuzzFeed News: Here’s How One Of Facebook’s Biggest Anti-Vax Communities Built Its Massive Network. “While Facebook is mulling over exactly how to combat a topic as complex and emotional as the anti-vaccination misinformation, members of its community continue to use the site’s tools to promote themselves. For a clear look at how this simple, ad-driven feedback loop works, let’s take a look at ‘Stop Mandatory Vaccination,’ one of the more prolific Facebook communities for anti-vaxxers.”
New York Times: Facebook Group of French Journalists Harassed Women for Years. “The rumors had been out there for years: A private Facebook group that included many up-and-coming French male journalists was behind waves of online insult, mockery and harassment aimed at women in the business. Now, with confirmation that a group that called itself the Ligue du LOL existed, it is a moment of reckoning about sexism in the French news media, an insular and still male-dominated industry in a country where the #MeToo movement has met with some resistance.”
The Guardian: Facebook under pressure to halt rise of anti-vaccination groups. “Facebook is under pressure to stem the rise of anti-vaccination groups spreading false information about the dangers of life-saving vaccines while peddling unfounded alternative treatments such as high doses of vitamin C. So-called ‘anti-vaxxers’ are operating on Facebook in closed groups, where members have to be approved in advance. By barring access to others, they are able to serve undiluted misinformation without challenge.” Interestingly I just found this notice in my Maine.gov RSS feed about fake anti-vaccine flyers purportedly coming from the CDC.
Sun Journal: Social media posts about bird sightings may be harming Maine wildlife. “A Facebook group of Maine birders is asking its members to stop posting specific locations of rare species out of concern that the information is being used by hunters. The change to the private group’s policy stemmed from a post that alleged a hunter killed a king eider duck in Wells Harbor after he saw information about it on the group’s page. Although the Maine Birds Facebook group administrator who posted about the incident last month was not able to provide information to corroborate the allegation, the outrage it spurred from the group’s members speaks to a larger question about the ethics of using social media to seek out wildlife.”
NBC News: Fire at ‘pizzagate’ shop reignites conspiracy theorists who find a home on Facebook. “In over 30 different open and closed Facebook groups, boasting more than 40,000 collective members, pizzagate followers have kept the conspiracy alive. In the face of reason, these pizzagate adherents have held tightly to ‘evidence’ — mostly what they allege is coded language and symbols that link shapes to pedophelia and food products like cheese and pasta to children.”
Facebook: Removing Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior from Russia. “Today we removed multiple Pages, groups and accounts that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram. The two operations we found originated in Russia, and one was active in a variety of countries while the other was specific to Ukraine. We didn’t find any links between these operations, but they used similar tactics by creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing.”