Facebook announces to share Russia-linked ads with U.S. Congress

admin   •   September 22, 2017   •   3070


FILE PHOTO: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the Alumni Exercises following the 366th Commencement Exercises at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has been under pressure to do more to prevent the use of Facebook for election manipulation.

In a live broadcast on Facebook, Zuckerberg said that he supported the investigation by the U.S. Congress and so he announced on Thursday that his company plans to share with U.S. congressional investigators some 3,000 political ads that it says Russia-based operatives ran on Facebook in the months before and after last year’s U.S. presidential election.

“I wish I could tell you that we’re going to be able to stop all interference, but that just wouldn’t be realistic. There will always be bad actors in the world and we can’t prevent all governments from all interference, but we can make it harder. We can make it much harder, and that’s what we’re going to focus on doing,” said the chief executive.

Zuckerberg laid out nine steps that he said Facebook was taking to deter governments from using the world’s largest social network to interfere with elections.

In one major change, Facebook will make political ads on the social network more transparent, so that people can see which ads are being run in connection with an election.

“Going forward and maybe the most important step we’re taking is we’re going to make political advertising more transparent. So when someone buys political ads on TV or other media, they’re required by law to disclose who paid for them. But you still don’t know if you’re seeing the same messages as everyone else. So we’re going to bring Facebook to an even higher standard of transparency,” said Zuckerberg. — Reuters

DOLE warns against FB pages promising cash, jobs

Marje Pelayo   •   January 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has warned the public against bogus Facebook pages promising cash or prizes in exchange for likes and shares as well as those purportedly hiring for employment.

“Verify the registration of such companies with appropriate government agencies before engaging with them, especially in providing information,” DOLE warned on Wednesday (January 7).

The alert came after DOLE acted on a complaint against a certain company named ‘Eternal Investment’ alleging that it is gathering people on Facebook and assigning them to job positions on a voluntary or commission basis. 

Recruits are allegedly assigned to positions such as executives, managers, and graphic artists.

The complaint also claimed that Eternal Investment is reportedly “manipulating people and not paying proper dues based on the output of the volunteers.” 

Upon coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), it was found out that ‘Eternal Investment’ is not registered with the DTI nor with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

To protect the public, the labor department’s Bureau of Local Employment brought the complaint to the SEC’s Enforcement and Investor Protection Department for further investigation.

Facebook removes pro-Trump group due to policy violation

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 6, 2020

Facebook on Thursday (November 5) removed the pro-Trump group, “Stop the Steal” for allegedly violating the social network’s policies.

“In line with the exceptional measures that we are taking during this period of heightened tension, we have removed the group ‘Stop the Steal,’ which was creating real-world events,” Facebook said in a statement.

The group has around 300,000 members which, according to Facebook, is being used to delegitimize the election process. Facebook also saw “worrying calls for violence from some members of the group.”

United States President Donald Trump on Thursday continued to question the integrity of the US voting system over alleged incidents of voting fraud.

Meanwhile, Trump said in his Twitter account that he and his team will challenge vote counts in states won by his challenger, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. AAC

Facebook offered to reconstruct taken down ‘Hands off our children’ page – AFP

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Social media giant Facebook has offered to “reconstruct” an account it recently took down due to alleged links to the military and coordinated inauthentic behavior.

In a statement on Tuesday, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Gilbert Gapay said Facebook made the offer to reconstruct the “Hands Off Our Children” page but admitted that it cannot restore the original page.

The “Hands Off Our Children” page is a group composed of parents whose children were recruited into the New People’s Army (NPA).

The page was among the more than 100 pages that Facebook removed in October as it stepped up its campaign against fake accounts and pages that are spreading false information.

Facebook earlier said these accounts were traced to have links with China, the Philippine National Police and the military.

Gapay has expressed dismay over Facebook’s action and called it “unfair.”

“They are unfair to us in taking down those sites because there are many other sites that are really espousing hate, violence, terrorism that should have been taken down in the first place, not these good sites which [we] are advocating on Facebook,” he said.

Gapay said the official Facebook pages of the AFP and all its units remain active for updates on military efforts and activities.

He also stressed that the Philippine military does not engage in sharing fake news and disinformation on social media.

The AFP already met with Facebook representatives to thresh out issues on their social media pages. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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