Financial Times: Is Facebook Spinning Out of Control Over Russian Revelations?

Russia used social media to disrupt the 2016 US presidential election and under-cut some of the world’s most innovative companies in the process – “weaponization” in the words of the Financial Times. Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter encourage political comment and gather personal data, then sell targeted, automated advertising. The social-media firms can expect more regulations from Europe and possibly the United States, explain Hannah Kuchler and Barney Jopson in an article that focuses on Facebook. Anyone can buy ads without human contact, and filters prohibit users from viewing all ads. Russian-connected users – some paid, some using false names and multiple accounts – continue to whip up emotions on current events. Facebook promises more oversight, moderation and transparency. Legislators mull requiring exposure of all advertising campaigns along with disclosures, but “The Internet Research Agency sounds like a governmental body, but it is actually a Russian troll farm that has used the internet to spread misinformation in the west,” the article notes. Ben Edelman, Harvard Business School professor, suggests that librarian training could come to the rescue. The days of anything goes for social media sites are over. Hackers may change their tactics, and companies can expect more scrutiny. Fake users and posts, fake ads and news, erode online trust among customers, investors and the public at large. – YaleGlobal

Financial Times: Is Facebook Spinning Out of Control Over Russian Revelations?

Moscow’s weaponisation of Facebook and other social networks to influence the 2016 US election spurs new calls for scrutiny and regulation
Hannah Kuchler and Barney Jopson
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Read the article.


Hannah Kuchler reports from Silicon Valley, writing about powerful tech companies, emerging startups and the culture of the tech industry. She specialises in covering social media and cyber security.  

See “These Are the Facebook Posts Russia Used to Undermine Hillary Clinton’s Campaign” by Casey Michel for ThinkProgress.

Sample Facebook post from the Russians

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved

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