Facebook Disables Anti-BJP Group With 33,000 Members

Facebook on the night of August 18 disabled the ‘No Vote to BJP’ group which had more than 33,000 members and which had campaigned against Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the West Bengal assembly polls earlier this year.

The group is run by members of the platform, ‘Bengal against Fascist BJP-RSS’. Many political observers believe that the group played an important role when it came to creating public opinion against the party ahead of the keenly contested election.

The BJP lost, and the ruling Trinamool Congress returned to power. The citizens’ initiative, however, is not aligned with the TMC either or any other political party. Their efforts largely comprised an online and street campaign in which members asked people to vote for any party other than the BJP.

— source thewire.in | 20/Aug/2021

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Social Media Giants ‘Directly Aided’ Fascist Insurrection in Brazil

The fascist attack on Brazil’s main government complex was “directly aided” by major social media platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, and Telegram, the global watchdog group SumOfUs said Monday as the country’s authorities continued their cleanup efforts, investigation, and arrests of suspects involved in the anti-democratic assault.

The insurrection, carried out by supporters of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro, “can come as no surprise to social media executives, who were warned time and again that their platforms, tools, and algorithms were directly aiding a violent uprising in Brazil,” said Flora Rebello Arduini, campaign director at SumOfUs, a nonprofit that has been monitoring the proliferation of election lies on social media in the South American country.

Referencing the January 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol, which was also abetted by social media giants, Arduini added that “we’ve now seen this happen in two of the world’s

— source commondreams.org | Jake Johnson | Jan 09, 2023

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Facebook disables accounts tied to NYU’s research into political ads

Facebook said Tuesday that it disabled accounts tied to a project from New York University that analyzed political ads on the social network. The company said researchers collected data from Facebook users without their consent. [joke of this century]

Researchers launched the project, known as the NYU Ad Observatory, ahead of the 2020 US presidential election to make it easier for journalists, policy makers and the public to spot trends about Facebook political ad targeting. As part of the project, NYU created a plug-in Facebook users could add to their web browser that copied the ads they saw on the social network and stored that data in a public database. The browser extension also collected usernames, links to user profiles and information about why users see a particular ad, information that isn’t publicly available.

But Facebook said researchers violated the social network’s rules by scraping data from users through “unauthorized means.” The company said the browser extension collected

— source cnet.com | Queenie Wong | Aug. 3, 2021

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Facebook Just Suspended the Accounts of Some of Its Biggest Critics

Facebook has made good on its threat to kick out a group of researchers who’ve been among the platform’s biggest critics.

The Cybersecurity for Democracy project at New York University has revealed major flaws in Facebook political ad transparency tools and highlighted how Facebook’s algorithms were amplifying misinformation. Most recently, it helped track vaccine disinformation in coordination with the Virality Project, a group that tries to neutralize false narratives spreading on social media.

Despite the obvious benefits of the work being done by these researchers, on Tuesday evening, the company cut the cord.

“This evening, Facebook suspended my Facebook account and the accounts of several people associated with Cybersecurity for Democracy, our team at NYU,” Laura Edelson, one of the

— source vice.com | David Gilbert | 04 Aug 2021

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Facebook shuts down major left wing group in Britain

Facebook has shut down the accounts of one of the biggest left wing organisations in Britain, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). The Socialist Workers Party Facebook page – as well as account of local pages – have been removed from Facebook with no explanation given. Those targeted say it amounts to a silencing of political activists.

The SWP Facebook page regularly posts in support of Palestine, Black Lives Matter and against Boris Johnson’s Covid policies. It also hosts dozens of online events every week that activists across the country take part in.

— source socialistworker.co.uk | 22 Jan 2021

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Facebook in India Has Backed Modi and BJP

Facebook, the biggest online social media group in the world, is under unprecedented attack following the publication on 14 November of a 5,000-word investigation by the New York Times alleging a host of questionable practices by the digital conglomerate, that includes WhatsApp and Instagram. The company’s share prices have come down and particular investors have called for the resignation of Mark Zuckerberg, the 34-year-old founder and chief executive officer of Facebook and his 49-year-old deputy, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. While the two have sought to refute certain specific allegations levelled against them, their leadership abilities and integrity are being questioned like never before. This is arguably the biggest crisis faced by Facebook which has 2.27 billion users across the world, including over 220 million in India – the largest in any country.

Even as allegations against the digital monopoly for allowing its platforms to be misused have intensified globally and calls have been made to break it up, we present an investigation into Facebook’s activities in India. This series of five long reports is based on interviews (quite a few of them off-the-record) with nearly 50 individuals that were conducted over a period of five months starting June 2018 as well as information that is available in the public domain.

While the international digital giant claims it provides an agnostic platform for all to use, there is evidence – some of it circumstantial – to indicate that senior employees of

— source newsclick.in | Cyril Sam, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta | 22 Nov 2018

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Facebook’s Message Encryption Was Built to Fail

The details are chilling. Police raiding a home, a teenager and her mother arrested, fetal remains exhumed from a rural burial plot. When police dragged off a 17-year-old Nebraska girl and charged her and her mother with self-administering a miscarriage, they were armed with damning documents they could only access through the incompetence and cooperation of Meta.

The intimate conversation between a mother and daughter in the days surrounding an alleged abortion was just one of the millions logged by Facebook every day, but for this family it will be devastating. After police obtained a warrant for the girl’s Facebook data, they used the information the company provided to apply for a second search warrant to raid her home. The application for that warrant included quotes from the pair’s Messenger conversation, such as “Are we starting it today?” and “Ya the 1 pill stops the hormones…u gotta wait 24 HR 2 take the other.” Perhaps most damning of all, the closing remark: “remember we burn the evidence.”

Search warrants require probable cause, particularized evidence to show that law enforcement will be able to obtain even more evidence at the place being searched. In this case,

— source wired.com | Albert Fox Cahn | Aug 10, 2022

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Facebook Gave Nebraska Police Data to Prosecute Teenager in Abortion Case

Facebook has turned over to Nebraska police the private messages between a mother and daughter as part of criminal abortion investigation. The case involves 41-year-old Jessica Burgess, who allegedly helped her 17-year-old daughter Celeste carry out an abortion, which is illegal in Nebraska 20 weeks after the egg is fertilized. Police in Norfolk, Nebraska, launched an investigation in April on a tip that Celeste had miscarried, and that her mother had buried the fetus, according(Opens in a new window) to the Lincoln Journal Star. Court documents filed(Opens in a new window) last month show that police used a search warrant in June to subpoena Facebook’s parent Meta for private messages between the mother and daughter — and that the social media company complied.

— source | Aug 9, 2022

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How Amazon, Google, and Facebook Helped Fund the Campaign to Overturn Roe

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the country’s top internet companies quickly responded with commitments to help employees in states that moved to ban abortion. In an implicit signal of support for abortion rights, the companies said they would help those employees seek abortions in states where the procedure remains legal.

In the years leading up to the seismic reproductive rights decision, however, the tech giants sponsored a controversial group that’s worked tirelessly to put the Supreme Court under conservative control, setting the stage for Roe’s reversal.

The Independent Women’s Forum traces its origins back to the 1991 fight to confirm the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas. Since then, the group has expanded into promoting a litany of perennial right-wing causes like climate denial, immigration alarmism, and deregulation, but a conservative-dominated Supreme Court remained a focus.

Public relations plays a key role in its operation. With savvy self-branding as a pro-woman organization, the group fought for the appointment of conservative justices to the

— source theintercept.com | Sam Biddle | Oct 1 2022

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