Former employee questions Facebook’s disinformation fight


A former Facebook employee said in a memorandum shared with other employees before leaving the company that a sophisticated network of more than a thousand actors attempted to influence the Delhi elections in February. Facebook did not disclose this publicly, but the former employee, who has written a 6,600-word memo on how social networks have been used for political purposes around the world, wrote that the effort was quietly taken Was. The memorandum also mentions how Facebook has failed to limit the use of fake accounts to seek public opinion in India and many other countries around the world.

“In the three years I’ve spent on Facebook, I’ve received many drastic attempts by foreign nationals to massively misuse our platform to mislead their own citizenship,” Sophie Zhang, a former Facebook In the memo the data scientist said Reported By Buzzfeed.

Zhang also underlined that he found evidence of “different-sized coordinated campaigns” on social media networks to influence political candidates or results. Additionally, it reported that the company often ignored or slowed down to act on evidence about global political manipulation.

A Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Gadgets360 that it carefully invested every issue, including one that Zhang had raised before it took action or exited and publicly as a company Would have made claims However, the statement did not provide any clarity on the alleged attempt made to influence the Delhi elections in particular.

“We have created special teams, working with leading experts to prevent bad actors from misusing our system, resulting in over 100 networks being removed for coordinated inhumane behavior. This is the highly involved work that these teams perform as their full-time remits. The spokesperson said that it is our priority to work against coordinated inhuman behavior, but we are also solving the problems of spam and fake engagement.

In response to Ryan Mack, one of the Buzzfeed News reporters who broke the story of Gai Rosen, VP of Integrity on Facebook. Tweeted What Zhang described was “a fake choice, which we regularly remove using automatic detection. Like any team in the industry or government, we are able to prevent the most urgent and harmful threats globally. Give priority. Fake choice is not one of them. ”However, as Nayantara Ranganathan, a researcher working on technology and politics, who has written extensively about Facebook, Told The number of likes on a post on Twitter in response to Rosen “often determines visibility, virginity, [and] Signs of information validity. “

According to Zhang’s LinkedIn profile, she worked with the Facebook site Integrity Fake Engagement Team since January 2018 and left the company early this month. She said in the memo that in just six months into her job on Facebook, she received coordinated inhuman behavior at the company, Buzzfeed reported.

The memorandum by Zhang comes at a time when Facebook is facing scrutiny in India. In August, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company’s senior executive Mark Das Opposed the company’s imposition of hate speech rules On the people and pages associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – the ruling party of the country. Facebook employees too Questioned How the company controls political content in the country is its largest market – larger than the US – with over 32.8 million users. Soon after the WSJ report, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged that Facebook was biased Against the BJP.


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