Senator Warren tests Facebook's ad policies on lying... by lying

Bubbajim

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

A sponsored post from Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign states: “Breaking news: Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook just endorsed Donald Trump for re-election.”

The statement is immediately clarified as being false, but the shock-factor employed by the ad has two aims – first to highlight Facebook’s recent policy decision to exempt political ads from fact-checking, and second to bring attention to the Trump campaign’s alleged use of false information in their own ads.

Senator Warren has been consistent in speaking out against the power and influence that big tech companies have since she announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination. Back in March, she announced a policy seeking to break-up what she termed ‘anti-competitive mergers’ such as Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp.

But this latest ploy comes in the wake of Facebook saying that its community guidelines won’t apply to political posts, even if they break rules that would get other posts banned.

The use of a lie in an ad is designed to draw attention but also shows how easy it is to peddle falsehoods. Either Facebook takes action against the post, thus violating their own rules and generating lots of publicity for Senator Warren, or the company does nothing and allows the point to be made. Facebook has been painted into a corner, and whatever route they take is undoubtedly going to generate some level of disapproval.

For now, it appears that Facebook is content to do nothing. In a statement on Friday, company spokesperson Andy Stone said, “If Senator Warren wants to say things she knows to be untrue, we believe Facebook should not be in the position of censoring that speech.”

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Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Free speech is great up until the point you are infringing on other's rights. Giving everyone and anyone on the internet a megaphone is and has been a bad idea. It's the reason PC culture has risen and it's also the reason modern day conspiracy theorists are able to gather such a following. Not to mention the potential for foreign governments to influence people.

We have yellow journalism laws for newspaper and print. The internet needs a stronger set of laws due to it's increase potential to spread misinformation.

 

pit1209

TS Booster
Free speech is great up until the point you are infringing on other's rights. Giving everyone and anyone on the internet a megaphone is and has been a bad idea. It's the reason PC culture has risen and it's also the reason modern day conspiracy theorists are able to gather such a following. Not to mention the potential for foreign governments to influence people.

We have yellow journalism laws for newspaper and print. The internet needs a stronger set of laws due to it's increase potential to spread misinformation.
Totally agree with you on that but in the meantime people needs to educate themselves and at least have a minimum amount of common sense and logical thinking instead of believing every nonsense shown in social media specially from shady sources.
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
Free speech is great up until the point you are infringing on other's rights. Giving everyone and anyone on the internet a megaphone is and has been a bad idea. It's the reason PC culture has risen and it's also the reason modern day conspiracy theorists are able to gather such a following. Not to mention the potential for foreign governments to influence people.

We have yellow journalism laws for newspaper and print. The internet needs a stronger set of laws due to it's increase potential to spread misinformation.
Weird, those laws have never stopped papers like the New York Times from printing heavily distorted or completely fabricated stories, which we get scores of in the run-up to every election. The retractions always come after the votes are counted if they ever do. Of course TV news does the same thing and they NEVER apologize. We've got five major networks pushing one agenda and a single network that pushes the opposite one, with nobody even attempting to present the objective facts. I also find it pretty outrageous that the people who wasted untold millions of taxpayer dollars trying to invent another Watergate are still acting like they haven't been utterly discredited.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
You know, Fakebook could have just as easily added a banner across every political ad that states something to the effect of "Facebook does not endorse or screen political ads for truth or facts and viewers should be warned accordingly". While that won't stop the ads, at least Zuck could say that he's trying to warn people.

I applaud what Warren wants but I think she will have one heck of a time pulling it off if she gets into office. With the amount of "pay to play" going on in Washington she just might end up being stranded on a great platform with very few backers.

I still think that lobbying has to be allowed to continue but I would add one caveat. All lobbying MUST be conducted on a person to person level, video taped and published for any and all to see. NO more professional lobbyist or lobbyist firms. No private meetings in far away places where secret agreements can be made or money passed. This won't solve all the problems, but it will certainly make it lot more public and cut out some of the more aggressive corruption. At least it's a start .....
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Weird, those laws have never stopped papers like the New York Times from printing heavily distorted or completely fabricated stories, which we get scores of in the run-up to every election. The retractions always come after the votes are counted if they ever do. Of course TV news does the same thing and they NEVER apologize. We've got five major networks pushing one agenda and a single network that pushes the opposite one, with nobody even attempting to present the objective facts. I also find it pretty outrageous that the people who wasted untold millions of taxpayer dollars trying to invent another Watergate are still acting like they haven't been utterly discredited.
You are free to sue them if you feel they are actually wrong. If you can't prove it in a court of law like yellow journalism laws allow, you don't have much of a case.

I should point out that the Fox opinion hosts are not journalists nor do they claim to be. They are listed as entertainment. The actual news side of Fox disagrees with those same Fox Opinion hosts as well.

Shepard Smith tried to present the facts at fox and got fired for it. He was one of the first journalists fox hired. How the times have changed.

You want something unbiased? 1. Stop watching regurgitated information and simply watch the congressional hearings, Trump rallys, ect. yourself. 2. Read documents yourself 3. Check your bias at the door. If you go into reading something specifically looking for examples of where the "other side" is doing something potenitally bad or are looking to discredit it, your brain is far far more prone to find only what you want and ignore everything else. The english language is a funny thing, a single sentence can take on such drastic differences in meaning based on who is interpreting it.
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
Weird, those laws have never stopped papers like the New York Times from printing heavily distorted or completely fabricated stories, which we get scores of in the run-up to every election. The retractions always come after the votes are counted if they ever do. Of course TV news does the same thing and they NEVER apologize. We've got five major networks pushing one agenda and a single network that pushes the opposite one, with nobody even attempting to present the objective facts. I also find it pretty outrageous that the people who wasted untold millions of taxpayer dollars trying to invent another Watergate are still acting like they haven't been utterly discredited.
https://cyber.harvard.edu/publications/2017/08/mediacloud
The structure of the overall media landscape shows media systems on the left and right operate differently. The asymmetric polarization of media is evident in both open web linking and social media sharing measures. Prominent media on the left are well distributed across the center, center-left, and left. On the right, prominent media are highly partisan.
The more insulated right-wing media ecosystem was susceptible to sustained network propaganda and disinformation, particularly misleading negative claims about Hillary Clinton. Traditional media accountability mechanisms—for example, fact-checking sites, media watchdog groups, and cross-media criticism—appear to have wielded little influence on the insular conservative media sphere. Claims aimed for “internal” consumption within the right-wing media ecosystem were more extreme, less internally coherent, and appealed more to the “paranoid style” of American politics than claims intended to affect mainstream media reporting.The institutional commitment to impartiality of media sources at the core of attention on the left meant that hyperpartisan, unreliable sources on the left did not receive the same amplification that equivalent sites on the right did.
These same standard journalistic practices were successfully manipulated by media and activists on the right to inject anti-Clinton narratives into the mainstream media narrative. A key example is the use of the leaked Democratic National Committee’s emails and her campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, released through Wikileaks, and the sustained series of stories written around email-based accusations of influence peddling. Another example is the book and movie release of Clinton Cash together with the sustained campaign that followed, making the Clinton Foundation the major post-convention story. By developing plausible narratives and documentation susceptible to negative coverage, parallel to the more paranoid narrative lines intended for internal consumption within the right-wing media ecosystem, and by “working the refs,” demanding mainstream coverage of anti-Clinton stories, right-wing media played a key role in setting the agenda of mainstream, center-left media. We document these dynamics in the Clinton Foundation case study section of this report.
 
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Cycloid Torus

Stone age computing - click on the rock below..
I've offered my kids the following advice:
- news is not learned from 'entertainment' shows or sound bites
- use several sources (Fox, CNN, Reuters, BBC, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, Voice of America)
- note what each does NOT report
- stick to facts
- read the details
- form your own opinions (I.e., you are your only opinion maker)
 
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