Deutsche Welle: Far-right trolls active on social media before German election: research. “Right-wing internet trolls sought to influence Germany’s federal election in September by setting up dozens of fake YouTube, Twitter and Facebook accounts to help them manipulate the online political debate, two studies released on Tuesday revealed. One study, published by several German public broadcasters and the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, revealed how some 5,000 users on the ‘Reconquista Germanica’ (Germany’s recapture) platform planned their social media campaigns.”
Columbia Journalism Review: The Facebook Armageddon. “As digital advertising continues to decline as a source of revenue thanks to Google and Facebook, many media companies are having to rely increasingly on subscriptions. But the readers they want to reach are all on Facebook consuming content for free. Places like The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal have the kinds of international brands that will allow them to continue to be advertising destinations and also get the lion’s share of subscriptions. But where does that leave mid-market papers that don’t have the scale or the reach?”
USA Today: Facebook says Kremlin-linked ads ready for public view, but House hasn’t released them. “A Facebook official said Tuesday that the social network had finished ‘scrubbing’ personal information from Kremlin-linked ads placed on their platform to influence the 2016 election, clearing the way for Congress to release them to the public. However, the House Intelligence Committee has still not released the ads, which Facebook said it provided to lawmakers last week after removing any personally identifiable information that could violate people’s privacy.”
Hit 92.9: ACCC To Investigate Facebook And Google Following Privacy Concerns. “Do you know just how much personal information you’re handing over to Facebook and Google? You may be surprised, according to the ACCC. The consumer watchdog has been asked to look into whether the tech giants are collecting information in a transparent way.” The ACCC in this case is the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
TechCrunch: Facebook’s plan to unite AR, VR and News Feed with 3D posts. “What if you could digitally sculpt a 3D object and share it on Facebook, play with it in virtual reality or insert it into your world with augmented reality? Facebook is polishing up stages one and two today after debuting posts of interactive 3D models in News Feed in October that you can move and spin around.”
Politico: Facebook’s next project: American inequality. “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is quietly cracking open his company’s vast trove of user data for a study on economic inequality in the U.S. — the latest sign of his efforts to reckon with divisions in American society that the social network is accused of making worse.”
Monday Note: Facebook has a Big Tobacco Problem. “Facebook never sought to be the vector of in-depth knowledge for its users, or a mind-opener to a holistic view of the world. Quite the opposite. It encouraged everyone (news publishers for instance) to produce and distribute the shallowest possible content, loaded with cheap emotion, to stimulate sharing. It fostered the development of cognitive Petri dishes in which people are guarded against any adverse opinion or viewpoint, locking users in an endless feedback loop that has become harmful to democracy. Facebook knew precisely what it was building: a novel social system based on raw impulse, designed to feed an advertising monster that even took advantage of racism and social selectiveness (read ProPublica’s investigation on the matter).”