Facebook took political manipulation lightly, says leaked memo

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San Francisco, Sep 15 | Facebook has been accused of ignoring fake accounts undermining political affairs around the world, according to a memo by a former employee of the social networking giant shared with BuzzFeed News.

In the 6,600-word memo, former Facebook data scientist Sophie Zhang wrote that she found evidence of coordinated campaigns to boost or hinder political candidates or outcomes in India and other countries like Ukraine, Spain, Brazil, Bolivia, and Ecuador.

“I’ve found multiple blatant attempts by foreign national governments to abuse our platform on vast scales to mislead their own citizenry, and caused international news on multiple occasions,” she wrote in the memo, as reported by BuzzFeed News on Monday.

“I have personally made decisions that affected national presidents without oversight, and taken action to enforce against so many prominent politicians globally that I’ve lost count,” according to the memo that details her her experiences of working with the social networking giant over the past two-and-a-half years.

Zhang said in the memo that in countries like Azerbaijan and Honduras, heads of government and political parties made use of fake accounts or misrepresented themselves to sway public opinion.

Giving an example of how slow Facebook was in acting against global political manipulation, she said that it took Facebook’s leaders nine months to act on a coordinated campaign “that used thousands of inauthentic assets to boost President Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras on a massive scale to mislead the Honduran people.”

Her LinkedIn profile said she “worked as the data scientist for the Facebook Site Integrity fake engagement team” and dealt with “bots influencing elections and the like”.

“I know that I have blood on my hands by now,” Zhang wrote.

However, giving a reference to her work related to India, the memo detailed that she worked to remove “a politically-sophisticated network of more than a thousand actors working to influence” the Delhi Assembly election that took place in February.

Facebook did not reveal the detection of such a a network or that it had taken it down, according to the report.

“We’ve built specialized teams, working with leading experts, to stop bad actors from abusing our systems, resulting in the removal of more than 100 networks for coordinated inauthentic behavior,” Facebook spokesperson Liz Bourgeois was quoted as saying in a statement.

“It’s highly involved work that these teams do as their full-time remit. Working against coordinated inauthentic behaviour is our priority, but we’re also addressing the problems of spam and fake engagement. We investigate each issue carefully, including those that Ms. Zhang raises, before we take action or go out and make claims publicly as a company.”

These revelations come barely a month after a Wall Street Journal report on August 14 said that the top leadership at Facebook’s India office refused to apply the company’s own rules to politicians from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), despite clear violations of Facebook’s policies against incitement to violence, hate speech, and misinformation.

Facebook India’s public policy head Ankhi Das reportedly “told staff members that punishing violations by politicians from Mr. Modi’s party would damage the company’s business prospects in the country.”

Following the report, the opposition Congress Party raised the issue of what it calls “unholy nexus” of the ruling BJP with Facebook and WhatsApp.

On August 18, the Congress Party wrote a letter to Facebook Inc expressing concern and asking them to acknowledge the issue and take corrective action. Congress had raised alarm over “interference in India’s internal affairs by a foreign company”.

Source: IANS

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Policybazaar Unveils its new brand campaign "AapKiSideHai"

Policybazaar Unveils its new brand campaign

Akshay Kumar delivers the brand’s promise of always being on the customer’s side

Gurugram, 19th Sept, 2020: Policybazaar.com (Twitter handle: PolicyBazaar), India’s largest online insurance marketplace with over 10 million customers, showcases its commitment to customers in its new television campaign “AapKiSideHai”. The new ad campaign featuring Policybazaar brand ambassador, Akshay Kumar, highlights the brand’s promise of embracing a holistic customer centric approach while helping to bridge the insurance protection gap in India.

Policybazaar’sAapKiSideHai campaign seeks to reassure its customers on being a dependable Insurance partner for them, every step of the way. The brand has always focused on distributing products like term insurance, health insurance, zero commission ULIP’s and motor insurance that are optimal from a customer perspective. Policybazaar is now extending the brand promise beyond the purchase experience to ensure that consumers get the highest levels of service throughout the policy lifecycle.

The new brand campaign reinforces Policybazaar core value of putting the customer first by delivering on its promise of providing a trusted platform for all types of insurance products. The brand is committed to guiding the customer throughout the insurance journey, starting from recommending the right products at affordable pricing, ensuring thatthe policy issuance process is smooth and fast, and, to providing services and claims assistance when needed.

“While we continue to highlight the importance of Health & Term life Insurance through our marketing campaigns, with the brand promise of Policybazaar AapKiSideHai, we also intend to position Policybazaar as a customer centric brand, that is committed to stand by its customers, both pre and post purchase”, said Samir Sethi, Head of Brand Marketing, Policybazaar.com. The new ad series highlights Policybazaar’s unparalleled support to customers, while providing them with the ease of comparing and buying term and health plans online with guidance at each & every step.

Speaking about the TVC launch, Sharat Dhall, Chief Operating Officer, Policybazaar.com said, “Our ultimate aim is to provide 360-degree assistance to customers that starts from when the policy is bought, to provide assistance when the claim is paid out, should such a situation arise. Winning and maintaining customer trust is a strong ethos within the company and this campaign reflects that. At a time when the world is grappling with a crisis like no other, the brand intends to instill confidence in the customers’ buying decisions by assuring them protection of their futures with the right insurance products & thorough assistance throughout the journey.”

The new brand campaign in its series displays moments of indecision that people may have while investing in protection products. It addresses these queries &emphasizes the importance of nurturing a bond with the consumers thereby creating customer delight.

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