Popular Opinion

Frightening – and yet unsurprising – report explaining how Facebook is used by politicians to unduly influence public opinion through the creation of incredible numbers of fake comments and likes from a tiny number of users. The report is based around an interview with Sophie Zhang, a former data scientist at Facebook who worked within the company’s “integrity” organization. Zhang details the ways that Facebook is manipulated – particularly by politicians of smaller countries – and how the company does little to prevent it:

““Suppose that the punishment when you have successfully robbed a bank is that your bank robbery tools are confiscated and there is a public notice in a newspaper that says, ‘We caught this person robbing a bank. They shouldn’t do that,’” Zhang says. “That’s essentially what’s going on at Facebook. And so what’s happened is that multiple national presidents have made the decision that this risk is enough for them to engage in it.”

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