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Facebook Targets 30,000 Fake France Accounts Before Election (go.com) 112

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ABC News: Facebook says it has targeted 30,000 fake accounts linked to France ahead of the country's presidential election, as part of a worldwide effort against misinformation. The company said Thursday it's trying to "reduce the spread of material generated through inauthentic activity, including spam, misinformation, or other deceptive content that is often shared by creators of fake accounts." It said its efforts "enabled us to take action" against the French accounts and that it is removing sites with the highest traffic. Facebook and French media are also running fact-checking programs in France to combat misleading information, especially around the campaign for the two-round April 23-May 7 presidential election. European authorities have also pressured Facebook and Twitter to remove extremist propaganda or other postings that violate European hate speech or other laws.

Facebook Targets 30,000 Fake France Accounts Before Election

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  • Not the real problem. The real problem are people who make their vote decision based on facts they get on Facebook posts.
    • It's not going to last forever. People will learn not to trust everything they read on the net. They're naturally trained to trust *written* sources that look like print, as they've been more or less authoritative their whole life (newspapers, books, etc). I remember when my family first got on e-mail, and it took a few years for them to stop falling for every e-mail hoax in existence (it took more than a few carefully worded replies with links to Snopes). I think the same thing will happen with fake ne

  • Fact checking? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by guruevi ( 827432 ) <evi@NOSpaM.evcircuits.com> on Saturday April 15, 2017 @09:18AM (#54239509) Homepage

    Sounds more like shaping the message they want you to hear.

    We all know how well "fact checking" and poll massaging CNN and Politifact were doing prior to the elections in an attempt to shape the election and it backfired.

    Even if the content is considered fringe to the MSM, repressing it usually has the opposite effect, it only confirms the persecution complex of those fringe groups.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      CNN and a number of the "news" organizations are still spreading their lies through Facebook. It's just that their lies fits Zucker's agenda so they're left to stand. Like it or not, Facebook is now a media outlet of its own and they're shaping the consciousness of their users.

    • Re:Fact checking? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Unknown User ( 4795349 ) on Saturday April 15, 2017 @09:39AM (#54239563)

      As incomprehensible as this may appear to some people, there are facts and it's also very easy to get down to them and discern real news from false news and its way worse cousin fake news. If some alleged news does not withstand repeated scrutinity from various different news organizations, including professional ones, and if it is not taken up by many different sources including professional ones, then it's most likely false news and might also be fake news. (The latter is even easier to spot for anyone but the mentally deranged, but see the comment below.) As for "fringe content", that is reported by news agencies every day, if you're interested in local traffic accidents, curious or funny anecdotes, etc. you should get a subscriptions to AP, Reuters, etc.

      If some news is repeated by many different newspapers and TV channels, that's a good sign, because there is only one reality.

      The people who think there are multiple realities are confused, they confuse opinions and editorial comments with facts and have chosen bad and unreliable sources (news aggregator sites, for instance). In my experience a principle from sound engineering describes very well what's going on when people start to get confused, babble about social constructivism or 'alternative facts': Garbage in, garbage out. If you get your 'news' primarily from Facebook, that's too bad for you.

      • Re:Fact checking? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 15, 2017 @10:28AM (#54239723)

        > and if it is not taken up by many different sources including professional ones, then it's most likely false news and might also be fake news.

        The fakers are well aware of this. They've taken two steps to compensate:

        (1) Construct an alternate media ecosystem with hundreds of news sources with the full range of national-enquirer level to very professional looking sites
        (2) Constantly bang away at every error, no matter the scope, made by professional news sources. Hold them to unreasonable standards (standards that they can't even hope of meeting themselves) in order to de-legitimize those sources in the minds of people looking for excuses to dismiss them.

        These facebook accounts are part of #1, often they are feeders meant to channel people into the websites of this alternate ecosystem.

        Ultimately it comes down to people choosing to uncritically believe articles that confirm their biases. Its as if a whole segment of the population never learned the proverb that "If its too good to be true, it probably is."

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Right; Just to make it absolutely clear, this isn't Facebook fact checking out making any kind of judgement on the content of these accounts. They are simply culling the thousands and thousands of sock puppet accounts made by 4chan users.

          I posted about this a while back. 4chan's /pol is being used to organise a fake news campaign. Kits for creating fake accounts are provided, with instructions on creating a shell profile with stolen photos and networked to other fake accounts.

          These accounts are then used to

    • We all know how well "fact checking" and poll massaging CNN and Politifact were doing prior to the elections

      You're right, the Russians were much more effective.

      • You know, all this 'Russian' bullshit is just new birther shtick, from the democrats this time. If you want an honest election, go back to paper ballots if you are interested in putting an end to all the stupid arguments.

        • Keep telling yourself that while you stare at the mirror telling yourself that you've got the biggest dick and a body of an athlete.

          It's all about repeating it until you yourself fall for it. After that evidence to the contrary won't matter.
          You'll be able to "Hail Trump!" all the way to the land of delusion. Or dementia. Which ever kicks in first.

        • You know, all this 'Russian' bullshit is just new birther shtick,

          I thought so too, at first. Now, the list of names in the Trump administration with direct ties to Russian Mafiya and oligarchs is just too long to deny. Add in the number of people with ties to Eastern European neo-nazi "nationalist" (Russian front groups) organizations and you've got an administration that is thoroughly and deeply tied to some seriously bad people (see, "gay concentration camps, Chechnya")

          • That's the great irony of Russia trying to buy itself a US President. The only way Trump is going to be able to hang on now is becoming even more anti-Russian than his recent predecessors. He has to prove to clearly very skeptical Congress that he's not Putin's man. Putin would probably have been in a better place if Clinton had won. She was very much "status quo", but now they have a man whose real and/or imagined ties to Russia may soon threaten his very presidency, so that whether he stands or falls, the

            • That's the great irony of Russia trying to buy itself a US President. The only way Trump is going to be able to hang on now is becoming even more anti-Russian than his recent predecessors.

              It's all theater, now. Trump bombs Syria, but calls Putin to warn him (aka, "ask permission") first. Nothing gets damaged, but it changes the conversation. A "mother of all bombs" is dropped on some godforsaken part of Afghanistan, that it just so happens the Russians were trying to destroy a few decades ago.

              "Looking t

          • I'm not saying Trump isn't under the influence. The same tired old rule applies to them all, follow the money. But the elections? Please. The voters did that to themselves. They run with the lie that makes them feel good.

            • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

              Liberals continue to kid themselves. They think they and their idea are far more popular than they are. CNN helped with this during the election with their polls. They tried to make Trump look unelectable but that was a big lie. It's the big obvious lie that completely destroys their credibility.

              Now of course both parties drink their own kool-aid far too much. Liberals have just taken it to a new level.

              People have hated Hillary since she was first lady. Those people hated Hillary before she got the nominati

              • You can't depend on your name got get into the White House. You have to actually earn it.

                Well, that's a nice theory, but it still hasn't escaped the lab. Name recognition is the reason Trump/Clinton got over 95% of the vote.

    • by Jzanu ( 668651 )
      No, this is about identifying all abuse of their services. Experience now shows abuse increases when users approach elections, as those seeking money don't care what they do to get page clicks and users are more easily inflamed during elections. This is simply reality as the Internet and physical worlds become more meshed, they interact and firms in either sphere must adapt to prevent abuse.
  • Best way to stop fake news & info, isn't it ?

  • Apparently.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Follow the money.

      Typically a rich backer wants some story put out. e.g. "Acorn helps black pimps evade the law". They fund a straw man front, someone like James O'Keefe. He then makes fake videos, puts them out as "project veritas" truths. "Acorn helps pimps evade laws, here watch this video".

      He then gets sued, Acorn get the full UNEDITED video, in which he pretends to be representing a congressman, not a pimp, and it's clear he's edited it to deceive people, cutting in stuff filmed after the fact to change

    • Stick to same old ideas (i.e. stay conservative) and with every second you are more and more wrong until you're standing in the middle of the street shouting anti-gay slogans wearing nothing but a Reagan-Thatcher "love" shirt.

      But it's actually Right wing == fake news and disinformation.

      http://www.cjr.org/analysis/br... [cjr.org]

      Our own study of over 1.25 million stories published online between April 1, 2015 and Election Day shows that a right-wing media network anchored around Breitbart developed as a distinct and insulated media system, using social media as a backbone to transmit a hyper-partisan perspective to the world.
      This pro-Trump media sphere appears to have not only successfully set the agenda for the conservative media sphere, but also strongly influenced the broader media agenda, in particular coverage of Hillary Clinton.
      While concerns about political and media polarization online are longstanding, our study suggests that polarization was asymmetric.
      Pro-Clinton audiences were highly attentive to traditional media outlets, which continued to be the most prominent outlets across the public sphere, alongside more left-oriented online sites.
      But pro-Trump audiences paid the majority of their attention to polarized outlets that have developed recently, many of them only since the 2008 election season.

      Attacks on the integrity and professionalism of opposing media were also a central theme of right-wing media.
      Rather than "fake news" in the sense of wholly fabricated falsities, many of the most-shared stories can more accurately be understood as disinformation: the purposeful construction of true or partly true bits of information into a message that is, at its core, misleading.
      Over the course of the election, this turned the right-wing media system into an internally coherent, relatively insulated knowledge community, reinforcing the shared worldview of readers and shielding them from journalism that challenged it.
      The prevalence of such material has created an environment in which the President can tell supporters about events in Sweden that never happened, or a presidential advisor can reference a non-existent "Bowling Green massacre."

  • This is all done to control the election.
  • I dumped Zuckerbook years ago. This madman is out of control

    • I can't disagree with you. From Day 1 Zuckerberg has been one of those people who pushes my "This Guy Is A Pervert/Creep" Button.

  • After that a-hole on Facebook's board almost single-handedly turned the site into a Trump-friendly fake news factory during the US election...NOW they suddenly care about this?

    More likely they're just afraid the EU will fine them into the poorhouse if they try the same kind of nonsense in civilized countries.

  • They want to prevent her from gaining office. Fuck Islam.
  • I wish FB would have taken this stand before the US elections. But they didn't want to be accused of discriminating against the Republicans for filtering fake news stories, the vast majority aimed at right wing voters. It got so bad I quit FB a year ago and haven't been back since.

    It amazes me that a party who never met a conspiracy about Obama or Hillary they didn't believe, can be so un-curious about the very real foreign interference and domestic treason during the election and probably still ongoing

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