Facebook remains the No. 1 social network for disinformation; Organized propaganda campaigns were found on the platform in 56 countries.

An office that Facebook set up in Dublin to monitor misuse of the platform. Oxford researchers said the company’s efforts were not enough to curb disinformation campaigns.

In Vietnam, citizens were enlisted to post pro-government messages on their personal Facebook pages. The Guatemalan government used hacked and stolen social media accounts to silence dissenting opinions. Ethiopia’s ruling party hired people to influence social media conversations in its favor.

Despite increased efforts by internet platforms like Facebook to combat internet disinformation, the use of the techniques by governments around the world is growing, according to a report released Thursday by researchers at Oxford University. Governments are spreading disinformation to discredit political opponents, bury opposing views and interfere in foreign affairs.

The researchers compiled information from news organizations, civil society groups and governments to create one of the most comprehensive inventories of disinformation practices by governments around the world. They found that the number of countries with political disinformation campaigns more than doubled to 70 in the last two years, with evidence of at least one political party or government entity in each of those countries engaging in social media manipulation.

In addition, Facebook remains the No. 1 social network for disinformation, the report said. Organized propaganda campaigns were found on the platform in 56 countries.

Read Full Story Here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/26/technology/government-disinformation-cyber-troops.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

 

Facebook to be fined $US5 billion for privacy violations…

The US Federal Trade Commission has approved a roughly $US5 billion ($7.1 billion) settlement with Facebook over its investigation into the social media company’s handling of user data, a source familiar with the situation has told Reuters.

Key points:

  • Penalty criticised as “a Christmas present five months early” for Facebook
  • The settlement would be the largest civil penalty ever paid to the agency
  • Source tells Reuters a final announcement on the settlement could come as early as next week

The FTC has been investigating allegations Facebook inappropriately shared information belonging to 87 million users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

The probe had focused on whether the data sharing violated a 2011 consent agreement between Facebook and the regulator.

Investors cheered news of the deal and pushed Facebook shares up 1.8 per cent, while several powerful Democratic politicians in Washington condemned the proposed penalty as inadequate.

The FTC is expected to include in the settlement other restrictions on how Facebook treats user privacy, according to the Wall Street Journal, which also said that the agency vote was along party lines, with three Republicans voting to approve it and two Democrats opposed.

Full story: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-13/facebook-5-billion-dollar-fine-cambridge-analytica-privacy/11306324