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Facebook To Show Users Which Russian Propaganda They Followed ( 279

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Facebook will show people which Russian propaganda pages or accounts they've followed and liked on the social network, responding to a request from Congress to address manipulation and meddling during the 2016 presidential election. The tool will appear by the end of the year in Facebook's online support center, the company said in a blog post Wednesday. It will answer the user question, "How can I see if I've liked or followed a Facebook page or Instagram account created by the Internet Research Agency?" That's the Russian firm that created thousands of incendiary posts from fake accounts posing as U.S. citizens. People will see a list of the accounts they followed, if any, from January 2015 through August 2017. Facebook will only be showing people the names of the pages and accounts, not the content. A user will only see what they liked or followed, so if they simply saw IRA content in their news feeds, they won't be notified.
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Facebook To Show Users Which Russian Propaganda They Followed

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    More transparency is a good thing.
    If Facebook wants their platform to be taken seriously as a place for discussion they need to start doing this will all the organizations that try to use it for the purpose of spreading propaganda. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      It will kind of look really, really stupid if the propaganda turns out to be true, you know, like it ain't propaganda when it's true but it most certainly is propaganda when it is a lie. So you kind of have to prove it a lie and the other story the truth and that is going to be a lot harder to do and of course you can bet Russian media will have a field day, when the US get's caught trying to call the truth propaganda and lies the accepted US government and corporate state truth.

      The one thing missing in o

  • Along with Nation in Distress? anytime something happens my Trump friends always share crap from these pages which just happen to have anonymous whois records along with their stupid names

  • by Mike Van Pelt ( 32582 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @05:52PM (#55606499)

    And, the more things change...

    Interesting how "the usual suspects" openly scoffed at accusations of Russian propaganda when the purported Russian propaganda was in support of their causes.

    Back then, the Russian propaganda was mostly along political lines, supporting whoever was most sympathetic to Communism. Now, Russia being nationalist and not Communist these days, and not so much pushing an ideological line, their propaganda is more like "How much can we screw them up?" So when the Left's ox gets mauled by the Russian bear... Suddenly, what was an object of derision ("The '80s called, they want their foreign policy back") becomes A Clear And Present Danger.

    I wonder what could screw us up more than Trump in the White House... And the left says "Hold my joint."

    • All things considered, the biggest surprise of the current federal government (including congress with the president) is how little they've actually been able to accomplish.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @05:56PM (#55606543)

    Is facebook now the thought police? why are they only targeting Russian propaganda? why cant they show me when i have liked or followed ANY propaganda?

    Oh wait, its because they have their own political agenda.... The board should be sacked along with all C suite executives at they no longer are interested in maximizing returns for their shareholders. They have instead opted to use their influence to try and sway popular opinion, its a bold strategy but not one that will maximize returns as it is based on the personal beliefs of people instead of a rational analysis of the market direction. That and they should know that to pick a side in any battle is strategically risky as it may not be the side that wins in the long term.

  • by RedK ( 112790 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2017 @06:22PM (#55606771)

    Except :

    One pro-Trump Facebook ad called for the "removal of Hillary Clinton from the presidential ballot" while another blamed Black Lives Matter for a "gruesome attack on police". Meanwhile, a fake gay rightsâ(TM) account praised Bernie Sanders as a "hero", and an anti-Trump profile advertised a "not my president" rally after the election, which attracted interest from nearly 50,000 people on Facebook and said: "Racism won, Ignorance won, Sexual assault won ⦠STOP TRUMP!" []

    People still aren't getting it. Or are being purposefully obtuse to try and keep the "Russia!" panic alive and try to paint Trump in a bad light. If he's such a bad president and bad person, why do you people even need to make stuff up to defame him ?

    The only thing creating division in the U.S. right now is not the President, it's all the #RESIST BS that keeps shoving "Russia!" hysteria and spinning everything the President does as negative. It's gotten so bad that if the man cured Cancer tomorrow, he'd be accused of putting Oncologists out of a job.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ...if the man cured Cancer tomorrow, he'd be accused of putting Oncologists out of a job.

      If my grandmother had handlebars and wheels, she'd be a bicycle.

      Let's put this in perspective. You're defending a guy who bragged about sexually assaulting women, who can't restrain himself from arguing with every troll on Twitter and who despite having been president for almost a year and aided by a Republican controlled Congress hasn't accomplished a damn thing other than to lessen the stature of our country in the rest of the world's eye.

      Good job!

      • by RedK ( 112790 )

        You're defending a guy who bragged about sexually assaulting women,

        See, this is EXACTLY the kind of stuff that the MSM is pushing. The guy bragged about gold diggers, MSM : "Literally sexual assault! Find the victims!!!!".

        aided by a Republican controlled Congress

        LMAO. You are not paying attention. The Republican Senate is the only thing impeding him. He's done what he's able to do with Executive Powers. He doesn't control the legislative branch. He's not the one to blame for the GOP's failure in the Senate.

    • If he's such a bad president and bad person, why do you people even need to make stuff up to defame him

      I'm not American, but all we need to do is listen to him. His character speaks quite badly enough for himself.

    • The only thing creating division in the U.S. right now is...

      Them! It's not us it's them!
      Your post is part of the problem. My post is part of the problem. As soon as it turn into us vs them we all lose.
      Stop treating everything as us and them and we might have a chance at moving forward together.

  • An "Am I stupid and/or gullible?" button!

    Damn genius. This should be standard. Like new years day every user gets to see how many paid-for-posts they peddled for free!

  • I was thinking of a new meme to illustrate how ridiculous and tragic social media combined with politics has become. Many comments here are scary.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      A much older US intelligence official thinking back to their glory days of the 1970's when they had rank, respect, over time, visited 5 eye nations, a real security clearance?
      Day dreaming about the covert skills of the Soviet Union and its huge embassy in the USA again?

      The idea that people outside the US elite coast could have voted in person for a real political leader who could give a speech?
      A political candidate that actually visited their state and talked to real people in person?
      Someone who did no
  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Thursday November 23, 2017 @03:26AM (#55609191) Homepage Journal

    Can we get the same feature for other propaganda as well? Chinese propaganda, american propaganda, and most importantly: Corporate propaganda.

    According to WP:

    Propaganda is information that is not objective and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is presented.

    That describes just about any advertisement or political statement made by any politician during the past decade.

    We are being manipulated constantly, from all sides. My profession is information security, so I have a lot of exposure to "evil russians". Here's a consistent pattern that I've noticed again and again and again, and I'm beginning to believe that it applies to the russian infowar approach as well: Russian methods are more obvious, more transparent. Might be less experience or a reduced sensitivity to exposure (Russians distrust their government even more than americans do, and basically assume that all politicians are corrupt anyways, so there's less need to pretend). But once you look past that, there's really not so much difference. Western manipulations, or security attacks, are less obvious, more tricky, spend more resources on appearing as something else or remaining unnoticed. There is also a lot more misdirection in the western approach. But when you look at plain data, the USA is as much an attack source as Russia, if not more so (this recent article [] lists the USA far ahead of Russia, with Turkey and Brazil ahead of the evil ex-communists).

    We are clearly seing a revival of Cold War animosities. Maybe trecking out NK and Iran as the "Axis of Evil" doesn't have the desired effect anymore? Maybe a large event (not necessarily a war, but could be) is being prepared and the public opinion needs to be set up properly first? Or maybe the people in charge are just boneheaded idiots who seriously think that Russia is a big danger, but climate change is a fabrication. No, you cannot possibly be that stupid, you would forget to breathe if you had that much of a brain damage.

    But "fake news" isn't news at all, it's been around for hundreds of years. As has been propaganda, and the main source of propaganda, at all times in history, has always been - surprise - your own government. Which is logical, of course. The local/national government has the most to lose or win from your opinion, so they have the greatest interest in influencing it.

    So please give us fake news background checks not just for selected sources. The person that writes a Firefox extension that automatically overlays advertisement with fact-checking background information deserves a Nobel prize. The person who hacks the cable broadcast infrastructure to put that on all the TV stations - we'd have to invent a new prize for that person. The manipulations that were done in the name of profit begin to make those done in the name of war appear harmless. Sugar industry, tobacco industry, oil industry - these fuckers are ready to destroy generations of people so their next quarterly earnings reports are good. With such friends, who needs enemies? I personally am much more worried about these guys.

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