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  1. #1
    Elemental Lord PfeffermintShake's Avatar
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    Facebook: Troll Farms Reaching 140 Million Americans a Month

    Why would Facebook bury this report?

    Looks like Facebook love the "engagement" driven by professional trolls. Does your favorite gaming site have a similar problem?
    Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, a director of AI at Facebook, is sorree.


    Troll farms reached 140 million Americans a month on Facebook before 2020 election, internal report shows. In the run up to the 2020 election, the most highly contested in US history, Facebook’s most popular pages for Christian and Black American content were being run by Eastern European troll farms.

    The report, written in October 2019 and obtained by MIT Technology Review from a former Facebook employee not involved in researching it, found that after the 2016 election, Facebook failed to prioritize fundamental changes to how its platform promotes and distributes information. The company instead pursued a whack-a-mole strategy that involved monitoring and quashing the activity of bad actors when they engaged in political discourse, and adding some guardrails that prevented “the worst of the worst.”

    But this approach did little to stem the underlying problem, the report noted. Troll farms—professionalized groups that work in a coordinated fashion to post provocative content, often propaganda, to social networks—were still building massive audiences by running networks of Facebook pages. Their content was reaching 140 million US users per month—75% of whom had never followed any of the pages. They were seeing the content because Facebook’s content-recommendation system had pushed it into their news feeds.

    “Instead of users choosing to receive content from these actors, it is our platform that is choosing to give [these troll farms] an enormous reach,” wrote the report’s author, Jeff Allen, a former senior-level data scientist at Facebook.


    The report found that troll farms were reaching the same demographic groups singled out by the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency (IRA) during the 2016 election, which had targeted Christians, Black Americans, and Native Americans. A 2018 BuzzFeed News investigation found that at least one member of the Russian IRA, indicted for alleged interference in the 2016 US election, had also visited Macedonia around the emergence of its first troll farms, though it didn’t find concrete evidence of a connection. (Facebook said its investigations hadn’t turned up a connection between the IRA and Macedonian troll farms either.)

    “This is not normal. This is not healthy,” Allen wrote. “We have empowered inauthentic actors to accumulate huge followings for largely unknown purposes ... The fact that actors with possible ties to the IRA have access to huge audience numbers in the same demographic groups targeted by the IRA poses an enormous risk to the US 2020 election.”


    How do you deplatform bad actors, when the management loves the bad actors?

  2. #2
    Make the company legally responsible for what happens on it’s platform.

    You saw this with Pornhub a year or two ago - lots of illegal videos on that site but they originally said ‘we just host the videos we hold no responsibility for what people upload’ - right up until they were told they were going to be responsible for all the kiddy porn on their page, at which point they did a massive sweep to handle it.

    Just make Facebook responsible for any slander or misinformation posted to their page, and they’ll start fact checking and actively handling the problem hella fast.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaransan View Post
    Make the company legally responsible for what happens on it’s platform.

    You saw this with Pornhub a year or two ago - lots of illegal videos on that site but they originally said ‘we just host the videos we hold no responsibility for what people upload’ - right up until they were told they were going to be responsible for all the kiddy porn on their page, at which point they did a massive sweep to handle it.

    Just make Facebook responsible for any slander or misinformation posted to their page, and they’ll start fact checking and actively handling the problem hella fast.
    Facebook hasn't been held responsible till now because a lot of these 'troll farms' exist in the US of A as well.

  4. #4
    I'm glad I haven't been on Facebook since Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House. The first time, that is.
    "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
    -Louis Brandeis

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Gestopft View Post
    I'm glad I haven't been on Facebook since Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House. The first time, that is.
    I haven't been on it since around October of last year, still have the messenger on my phone though to talk to family and friends out of town when they need to contact me.

    But actually looking at the stuff there, while it was funny fact checking people and watching them lose their shit and how far they would go to lie to themselves, seeing that level of ignorance and stupidity ends up making you think less of your family and friends for their stupidity and makes you honestly feel like the tragedies they cause isn't actually as bad of a thing because either they learn or they weed themselves out of the gene pool enough that they can't impact the process as much either if only enough educated people actually make it into the voting pool to overwhelm them even with their cheating for power.
    Since we can't call out Trolls and Bad Faith posters and the Ignore function doesn't actually ignore it. Add
    "mmo-champion.com##li.postbitignored"
    to your ublock or adblock filter to actually ignore ignored posters. Now just need a way to ignore responses to them as well.

  6. #6
    Banned Orange Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaransan View Post
    Make the company legally responsible for what happens on it’s platform.

    You saw this with Pornhub a year or two ago - lots of illegal videos on that site but they originally said ‘we just host the videos we hold no responsibility for what people upload’ - right up until they were told they were going to be responsible for all the kiddy porn on their page, at which point they did a massive sweep to handle it.

    Just make Facebook responsible for any slander or misinformation posted to their page, and they’ll start fact checking and actively handling the problem hella fast.
    There is a difference. Pornhub was hosting illegal material. Lie and misinformation aren't illegal.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaransan View Post
    Just make Facebook responsible for any slander or misinformation posted to their page, and they’ll start fact checking and actively handling the problem hella fast.
    Misinformation is not illegal, and slander is the responsibility of the person posting. Pornhub was hosting illegal content, which is also illegal on Facebook and they remove that as well. You're comparing apples to hand grenades.

    Though ironically, the people who would complain the loudest if they did crack down on misinformation are the conservatives who are responsible for spreading it. We've already seen the backlash as Facebook put covid misinformation warnings on their misinformation and they lost their shit, claiming "censorship" of the misinformation that was not ever censored.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Fugus View Post
    seeing that level of ignorance and stupidity ends up making you think less of your family and friends
    Correct.
    Exactly why I'm not on it.
    The ignorance on display on that site is truly breathtaking.
    I dream of a post FB-IG landscape.
    But alas people claim it's a right now.
    Maybe someday, people will realize we don't care what they ate for brunch.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Hollycakes View Post
    Correct.
    Exactly why I'm not on it.
    The ignorance on display on that site is truly breathtaking.
    I dream of a post FB-IG landscape.
    But alas people claim it's a right now.
    Maybe someday, people will realize we don't care what they ate for brunch.
    The ONLY real downside of not being on it is I am not as up to date on the all the fantasy land conspiracies to immediately be able to debunk it when people mention it like I used to be able to. But not like that really mattered anyways as the people I know who believe them won't allow them to be shaken from that fantasy no matter what the facts or reality say, they will make excuses to the end and I have had one who immediately shuts down and goes silent the moment he can't refute what they don't like.

    The only way they will EVER be shaken from their fantasies is if the consequences hit them directly or an immediate loved one (Friend or distant family won't be enough) and it will have to be in a way where they CAN'T pretend it is anything but what it was without even a shred of plausible deniability to it, like something beyond even Trump outright confessing concrete as I have literally shown one of them a video of Trump confessing to something and even THAT wasn't enough to believe it.
    Since we can't call out Trolls and Bad Faith posters and the Ignore function doesn't actually ignore it. Add
    "mmo-champion.com##li.postbitignored"
    to your ublock or adblock filter to actually ignore ignored posters. Now just need a way to ignore responses to them as well.

  10. #10
    I Don't Work Here Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollycakes View Post
    Correct.
    Exactly why I'm not on it.
    The ignorance on display on that site is truly breathtaking.
    I dream of a post FB-IG landscape.
    But alas people claim it's a right now.
    Maybe someday, people will realize we don't care what they ate for brunch.
    The best we can probably hope for, moving forward, is a very open world. In the sense that, if you're a shithead on some corner of the Internet, everyone who ever Googles your name can readily find out that you're a shithead, and make decisions accordingly. If you're racist to someone on a forum like this one, every future employer gets to see exactly what you said, in what context, for the rest of your life. You never escape it. It is now an indelible black mark on your "permanent record", so to speak.

    If you stick to echo chambers of hatefucks like yourself, then your affiliation and membership with those groups is also known to everyone, and they will make assumptions accordingly.

    Everything you post. To anyone. Ever. Forever. Get some accountability up in here.

    And before anyone says "but muh privacy", we're talking about open public commentary. You breached your own privacy by posting it in the first place.


  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    The best we can probably hope for, moving forward, is a very open world. In the sense that, if you're a shithead on some corner of the Internet, everyone who ever Googles your name can readily find out that you're a shithead, and make decisions accordingly. If you're racist to someone on a forum like this one, every future employer gets to see exactly what you said, in what context, for the rest of your life. You never escape it. It is now an indelible black mark on your "permanent record", so to speak.

    If you stick to echo chambers of hatefucks like yourself, then your affiliation and membership with those groups is also known to everyone, and they will make assumptions accordingly.

    Everything you post. To anyone. Ever. Forever. Get some accountability up in here.

    And before anyone says "but muh privacy", we're talking about open public commentary. You breached your own privacy by posting it in the first place.
    Blizzard once tried that with Real ID. That was met with universal backlash from everyone. I'm not surprised you would disagree with like 99% of the public and want something like that tho. Its pure fascism.
    Last edited by Kokolums; 2021-09-18 at 02:11 AM.
    TO FIX WOW:1. smaller server sizes & server-only LFG awarding satchels, so elite players help others. 2. "helper builds" with loom powers - talent trees so elite players cast buffs on low level players XP gain, HP/mana, regen, damage, etc. 3. "helper ilvl" scoring how much you help others. 4. observer games like in SC to watch/chat (like twitch but with MORE DETAILS & inside the wow UI) 5. guild leagues to compete with rival guilds for progression (with observer mode).6. jackpot world mobs.

  12. #12
    I Don't Work Here Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kokolums View Post
    Blizzard once tried that with Real ID. That was met with universal backlash from everyone. I'm not surprised you would disagree with like 99% of the public and want something like that tho. Its pure fascism.
    The backlash was not remotely "universal.

    It's also not remotely "fascism". It's just accountability. People having access to records of your public behaviour. That's it. It's inevitable at this point, and it's arguably already here, it's just that it's being wielded for big corporations' benefits, rather than the public's.


  13. #13
    Banned docterfreeze's Avatar
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    The meme accounts are growing too powerful!

  14. #14
    Titan Lenonis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kokolums View Post
    Blizzard once tried that with Real ID. That was met with universal backlash from everyone. I'm not surprised you would disagree with like 99% of the public and want something like that tho. Its pure fascism.
    Having people's public statements be public is in no way shape or form fascism.

    Sorry the idea of people actually being held accountable for being terrible is so uncomfortable to you.
    Forum badass alert:
    Quote Originally Posted by Rochana Violence View Post
    It's called resistance / rebellion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rochana Violence View Post
    Also, one day the tables might turn.

  15. #15
    Void Lord Elegiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenonis View Post
    Having people's public statements be public is in no way shape or form fascism.
    Statements made on the internet are only public insofar as it being a public medium, but that does not imply people don't have a right to anonymity when the issue is a lack of website moderation (which it absolutely was in the case of the Bnet forums, as with Facebook).

    It's the equivalent of banning people from publishing anonymous books or letters because people publish lies sometimes and you can't be bothered to fact check.
    You're not "playing devil's advocate", you're making someone who is likely speaking from personal experience defend themselves against the shitty and oppressive opinion you're too embarrassed to admit you actually believe in. It's you. You're the devil.

  16. #16
    I Don't Work Here Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elegiac View Post
    Statements made on the internet are only public insofar as it being a public medium, but that does not imply people don't have a right to anonymity when the issue is a lack of website moderation (which it absolutely was in the case of the Bnet forums, as with Facebook).

    It's the equivalent of banning people from publishing anonymous books or letters because people publish lies sometimes and you can't be bothered to fact check.
    I mean, if we're talking Twitter (as a verified user, at least) and particularly Facebook, you've already given up your anonymity by choosing to use those services.

    I'm a pretty private individual, myself. I have a Facebook account, and also a fake identity one I use for gaming stuff because I don't care/use it and I'm definitely breaking site terms of service in doing so (and wouldn't care much if it got found out and banned). My "real" Facebook account only exists so people can Google me; I never check it let alone use any of Facebook's other services. My pursuit of privacy is deliberate and conscious, though. And it's not really the same thing as "anonymity"; I use this screen name everywhere, so it's essentially a pseudonym, and I've been "recognized" in other venues as a result; if I wanted true anonymity, I wouldn't do that, I'd use random screen names.

    People mistake "privacy" and "anonymity", and I don't think the two are the same. Everyone should have a right to privacy. I'm not as sold on some right to anonymity. Anonymity is a fragile privilege and people connecting the dots aren't violating your rights.

    Edit: The latter not being the same as doxxing, which involves violating privacy. I don't consider looking up someone's Facebook page and seeing their home address and telephone number listed there to be "doxxing".


  17. #17
    Titan Lenonis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elegiac View Post
    Statements made on the internet are only public insofar as it being a public medium
    *blinks* Maybe you meant something different but this sounded to me like "statements made in public are only public insofar is being public." Which I'm pretty sure is not what you mean.

    but that does not imply people don't have a right to anonymity when the issue is a lack of website moderation (which it absolutely was in the case of the Bnet forums, as with Facebook).
    I'm really trying to follow here -- and the moderation piece I'm just not. Sorry if I'm being dense here. Are you talking about people who sign up with an anonymous username shouldn't have their posts traced back to them? Like it's doxxing of a kind? Again sorry if I'm just not following.

    It's the equivalent of banning people from publishing anonymous books or letters because people publish lies sometimes and you can't be bothered to fact check.
    Well this raises the question of what is the right to privacy on the public internet? If someone posts death threats then I don't imagine many people will argue that they shouldn't have their identity revealed to law enforcement. But there's a huge gray area of malice, bullying, and harrassment that may not technically be illegal but would definitely be harmful if their identity were made known. I can't say I'm all that interested in defending people's right to be anonymous assholes when that behavior causes measurable harm to others. Same thing for misinformation.

    This stuff has consequences.
    Forum badass alert:
    Quote Originally Posted by Rochana Violence View Post
    It's called resistance / rebellion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rochana Violence View Post
    Also, one day the tables might turn.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaransan View Post
    Make the company legally responsible for what happens on it’s platform.

    You saw this with Pornhub a year or two ago - lots of illegal videos on that site but they originally said ‘we just host the videos we hold no responsibility for what people upload’ - right up until they were told they were going to be responsible for all the kiddy porn on their page, at which point they did a massive sweep to handle it.

    Just make Facebook responsible for any slander or misinformation posted to their page, and they’ll start fact checking and actively handling the problem hella fast.
    umm how was pornhub held responsible? Sure they were threatened but they were not at all held responsible.

    There technically would be a hard press case to legally charge them with anything. You'd have to charge the big 3 every day of the week based on the volume of things you can find on any one of their sites any hour of the day.

    It was the banks/payment processors/paypal/etc that all put the pressure on that made them finally clean it up.
    Buh Byeeeeeeeeeeee !!

  19. #19
    Merely a Setback JohnBrown1917's Avatar
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    A site that has been getting astrosurfed since it became popular[and does nothing about] and keeps getting astrosurfed? How surprising.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnusthegreat View Post
    Timmy still can get lunch, it's just not free.

  20. #20
    I am Murloc!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    The best we can probably hope for, moving forward, is a very open world. In the sense that, if you're a shithead on some corner of the Internet, everyone who ever Googles your name can readily find out that you're a shithead, and make decisions accordingly. If you're racist to someone on a forum like this one, every future employer gets to see exactly what you said, in what context, for the rest of your life. You never escape it. It is now an indelible black mark on your "permanent record", so to speak.
    People change in small ways constantly, what was acceptable at the end of the last millenium might not be now

    What you imply is judging people based on lessons they might have learned, that society has moved on from

    I am not sure what you say is the best we could hope for is the best we should hope for, your best is keeping us from change and improvement, there should be space for recognizing a person improves, a former kkk member (who has done his time for his crimes if any) can maybe today be a better man.. the best you say we can hope for is to never allow for that, to for ever judge him for the worst he ever was.

    Permanent is a rather long time

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