Wired: To Fix Its Toxic Ad Problem, Facebook Must Break Itself

Wired: To Fix Its Toxic Ad Problem, Facebook Must Break Itself . “Two incidents in recent weeks have highlighted how Facebook’s advertising network—the cornerstone of its half-trillion-dollar valuation—is as susceptible to manipulation and bigotry as its news feed. Facebook addresses each problem as it arises, in isolation. But maybe it’s time for Facebook to acknowledge that it can’t solve these problems alone and to ask for help—before governments offer their own ‘help.'”

Texas secession movement: Russia-linked Facebook group asked us to participate in anti-Clinton rallies (Business Insider)

Business Insider: Texas secession movement: Russia-linked Facebook group asked us to participate in anti-Clinton rallies. “A Russia-linked Facebook group asked a Texas secessionist movement if it would participate in a series of anti-immigrant, anti-Hillary Clinton rallies it was planning to hold across the state last November, the group’s president told Business Insider on Thursday.”

Exclusive: Facebook Won’t Reveal if Russia Targeted You During the Election (The Daily Beast)

The Daily Beast: Exclusive: Facebook Won’t Reveal if Russia Targeted You During the Election. “The social media giant … declined to commit to releasing information about Russian government-backed Facebook posts, groups, and paid advertisements to the users who encountered them. That means Facebook users may never know if they were targeted by foreign propaganda campaigns during the 2016 election, or if those campaigns are still filling up their newsfeeds today.”

The Daily Beast: I Bought a Russian Bot Army for Under $100

The Daily Beast: I Bought a Russian Bot Army for Under $100. “A Daily Beast investigation reveals manipulating Twitter is cheap. Really cheap. A review of dodgy marketing companies, botnet owners, and underground forums shows plenty of people are willing to sell the various components needed to run your own political Twitter army for just a few hundred dollars, or sometimes less. And once your botnet is caught, due to holes in Twitter’s security and sign-up features, it takes only a few minutes to do it all over again.”

Talking Points Memo: Russian Trolls Promoted Trump While Trashing Black Lives Matter On Twitter

Talking Points Memo: Russian Trolls Promoted Trump While Trashing Black Lives Matter On Twitter. “When a Russian troll farm was fishing for Trump supporters on Twitter, it baited the hook by targeting minority activists and public figures. TPM has reviewed tweets and images from a pro-Trump Twitter account run by the Russian troll farm that likely purchased $100,000 worth of political ads on Facebook. Among the account’s favorite targets during the 2016 campaign season were Michelle Obama, undocumented immigrants and antiracist activist movement Black Lives Matter.”

Science Magazine: Social media ‘bots’ tried to influence the U.S. election. Germany may be next

Science Magazine: Social media ‘bots’ tried to influence the U.S. election. Germany may be next. “On 3 September, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her main opponent Martin Schulz faced off in an election debate that many viewers panned as more of a duet than a duel, a far livelier effort was underway on social media. People on Twitter started using the hashtag #verräterduell, which translates as ‘duel of traitors’ and mirrors the claim by the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland party that both Merkel’s mainstream Christian Democrats and Schulz’s Social Democrats have ‘betrayed’ the country. Yet much of the venom may not have been fueled by angry voters, researchers say. Instead it looks like the work of bots, or fake social media profiles that appear to be connected to human users, but are really driven by algorithms.”

Sunlight Foundation: Technology companies should publish political advertising files online

Sunlight Foundation: Technology companies should publish political advertising files online. “The United States of America has now fallen off the online disclosure cliff that Sunlight has warned of for years: the lack of transparency for political ad spending and related activity online created a significant vulnerability in our public accountability laws. While more transparency was rendered to TV stations, ‘dark ads’ have flourished online. Last week’s reporting confirms that Facebook was used by Russians used to influence the 2016 election. The full extent of that interference is still not understood publicly, even now.”