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How To Check If You Interacted With Russian Propaganda On Facebook During the 2016 Election (recode.net) 226

Facebook has rolled out a new tool to help some users figure out if they interacted with Russian propaganda during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. "The social giant's tool -- available here, through its Help Center -- specifically allows users to see if they followed or 'Liked' any pages and accounts set up by Kremlin-backed trolls on either Facebook or Instagram," reports Recode. From the report: Over the course of the 2016 election, Facebook estimates that roughly 140 million users may have seen Russian propaganda in their News Feeds or on Instagram. Much of that content sought to sow social and political unrest around divisive issues like race, religion and LGBT rights. But only a small slice of those 140 million affected users can actually take advantage of Facebook's new tool, which it first previewed in November. That's because the portal only aids those who directly followed one of the accounts or pages set up by Russian sources on Instagram and Facebook. It does not help users who may have simply seen Kremlin-sponsored content because their friends "Liked" it and it subsequently appeared in their own News Feeds. Facebook's new service also doesn't allow users to check if they saw some of the roughly 3,000 election-timed ads purchased by Russia's notorious trolls, known as the Internet Research Agency. About 10 million users saw those ads around the election, the company previously has said.
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How To Check If You Interacted With Russian Propaganda On Facebook During the 2016 Election

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  • by profet ( 263203 ) on Friday December 22, 2017 @08:52PM (#55793407)

    Would be lovely to see a list of posts shared/liked by friends to your timeline rather than just things you've clicked on.

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday December 22, 2017 @09:31PM (#55793547)

      Simple rule of thumb: If you know that Hillary colluded with the DNC to sabotage Bernie's campaign, then, directly or indirectly, you were exposed to Russian propaganda.

      The dastardly Russians used a sneaky and underhanded technique called "telling the truth".

      • by easyTree ( 1042254 ) on Friday December 22, 2017 @10:19PM (#55793745)

        The dastardly Russians used a sneaky and underhanded technique called "telling the truth"

        There's no precedent for it and it's not wanted. This red threat will be stamped out.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          That article is from May 2016, well before the full extent of Hillary's control of the DNC and their combined efforts to sabotage Bernie's campaign became public.

        • Cheating doesn't become "OK" just because in the end it turned out she would have won anyway.

          Do you know who else would have won anyway? Richard Nixon. So should we have given him a pass on Watergate?

          • Do you know who else would have won anyway? Richard Nixon. So should we have given him a pass on Watergate?

            ... I mean, we did? He did win the election, and Ford did pardon him...

            Cheating doesn't become "OK" just because in the end it turned out she would have won anyway.

            The claim floating around isn't just that she cheated, but that the cheating tipped the primary. The first part is feasible, the second part is not. I wasn't excusing any cheating, only pointing out that the wild-eyed claims that Bernie would have won the primary and then dominated the election are utter nonsense designed to divide and conquer.

      • because that's some mighty fine Whataboutsim right there. It's also got nothing to do with the conversation, which is about Russian election interference which noone disputes was anything less than 100% pro-Trump.
        • because that's some mighty fine Whataboutsim right there. It's also got nothing to do with the conversation, which is about Russian election interference which noone disputes was anything less than 100% pro-Trump.

          Who cares if Russia blasts Facebook with propaganda? Why should I care about that? Why do Russians have any inherently less of a right to blast Facebook with propaganda than your local variety of ultra left and right wing lunatic?

          Personally I don't subscribe to the notion rights to freedom of speech nor the right to act like a dumb fuck end at arbitrary political boundaries drawn on a map.

          What Russia did went above and beyond by breaking US law penetrating into systems and exfiltrating data. I don't supp

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Wow, that sketchy Julian Assange. How underhanded of him to release undoctored, truthful third party content!

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by MatthiasF ( 1853064 )
        A few real facts to dispute your fake news, Bernie Sanders isn't a member of the DNC, he's an Independent. The fake news you're referring to was contrived by a failed political boss (Donna Brazile) who wrote a book and spewed hate at Clinton to try to get the book sold (knowing people like you would eat it up). Brazile is the same woman who passed a question to Clinton before a town hall, so her calling anything unethical (her words for the campaign spending agreement she uses as proof of collusion) is pret
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 22, 2017 @09:34PM (#55793557)

      It's truly weird how over a year after President Trump won the election, and nearly a year since he assumed power, the left is still oblivious as to why they lost the election. They keep blaming 'Russians' and 'Nazis' and whoever else they can scapegoat. Yet they never look at themselves! They lost because they ran a candidate who was widely disliked. They lost because they didn't have a positive and encouraging vision like the one that President Trump presented to the nation. They lost because they tried to use identity politics to divide the electorate, instead of uniting all Americans like President Trump did. They lost because of themselves and their own actions. Yet they refuse to understand and admit this, and instead blame literally everyone and everything else for their total failure. It's truly weird!

      • by fred911 ( 83970 )

        That's has to be the most insightful, intelligent and non-partisan comment I've seen in the past two years. If the media, and both parties could understand 10% of the signifigance, we'd all be much better off.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          You know what's funny though? Ask yourself where the democrats are today. No really, ask yourself. Hell ask people on the street. What's their platform? What are they doing? Who are the fresh faces? What's the party leadership? What are they doing for average people? What is their tax plan? What's their healthcare plan? What do they want to do with any other issue ranging from jobs, to border, to really anything.

          There's nothing. Nobody knows, because the democrats don't know. They're still screeching

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        I'm aware you're half trolling but there are enough delusional slashdotters here who have trouble distinguishing reality from fiction coming from the government ruling party.

        They lost because they ran a candidate who was widely disliked.

        Trump was more disliked.

        They lost because they didn't have a positive and encouraging vision like the one that President Trump presented to the nation.

        Hillary presented her vision in sane, reasoned tones and was utterly ignored by the media as it wasn't zany enough. Trump rallies were marked by threatening journalists and yelling at enemies.

        They lost because they tried to use identity politics to divide the electorate, instead of uniting all Americans like President Trump did.

        Trump pandered exclusively to whites.

        They lost because of themselves and their own actions

        HRC got 3 million more votes than Trump. Factually, she lost because we don't live in

        • Well, at least one thing you wrote was true: we Americans do not live in a democracy. We never have, of course. But if you think that electing a single human being to direct the entire armed might of 350 million people, and to carry out the spending of 20-25% of their collective economic effort, in a single election, as a choice among two individuals selected by what are self-described private groups and in no way representative of the people, could somehow be turned into "democracy" by changing the elector
        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23, 2017 @02:42AM (#55794493)

          I'm a Latino and I proudly voted for Trump.

          He never pandered to whites. He pandered to anyone who loves this country, works hard, and doesn't want to be on the Democratic welfare plantation.

          And fuck you for pretending I don't exist. It's a big reason why I voted for him. Tired of you smug, condescending liberals talking for me.. And so were about 30% of people like me.

        • Well said. Heh, I can tell by this score, the Russian trolls are back. I was wondering where they went.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Both sides ran unpopular candidates. It's not like Trump had mass market appeal either, and in fact he lost the popular vote.

        What screwed the Democrats was playing defence. They tried to defend Clinton, but Trump and the far right never do that. They always attack.

        When someone points out a lie, they turn it around by accusing them of being fake news or attacking someone else unrelated (what-about-ism). They make it about someone else, look like the are winning.

        This is a great example from today: https://www [theguardian.com]

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashiki@ g m a il.com> on Saturday December 23, 2017 @04:42AM (#55794713) Homepage

          Both sides ran unpopular candidates. It's not like Trump had mass market appeal either, and in fact he lost the popular vote.

          What screwed the Democrats was playing defence. They tried to defend Clinton, but Trump and the far right never do that. They always attack.

          The popular vote means squat in US elections, so that doesn't matter. The democrats weren't playing defense, the democrats believed they had it in the bag. They believed the polls, they thought that she wouldn't need to head to the rust belt or some fly-over country state. The people in the party told her that.

          You know what Trump's attack was? Pointing out her failures, what was the democrats response? BUT YOU CAN'T DO THAT, SHE'S FEMALE! And people looked left, and they looked right, and picked the person that wasn't playing identity politics, but pointing out serious flaws. It also helped that even when Trump made an ass out of himself, he rolled with his own mistakes. Self-depreciating humor is a selling point for a lot of people. I know that you really think that the "far right" is this gigantic great machine, but it's not. It's just that you're so far to the left that anyone to the right of Trotsky seems like they're right-wing.

          • The popular vote means squat in US elections, so that doesn't matter.

            The parent wasn't talking about an election, he was talking about how popular a person is.

            • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

              The parent wasn't talking about an election, he was talking about how popular a person is.

              Again that doesn't matter. It doesn't even matter in his home country which uses FPTP.

              • Did you get dropped on your head as a child? It doesn't matter what electoral system is used when talking about the fact that Trump isn't the most popular.

                You're defending an argument no one is making or arguing against and all you're achieving is making others thing you were dropped on your head as a child.

        • by Whibla ( 210729 )

          What made me really laugh about that article was that, instead of simply apologising in the first instance, he then doubled down and insisted he'd never called it fake news.

          Do these clowns really believe that they're right as long as they always and only insist that everyone else is wrong?

          And why is making (and admitting) a mistake seen as such a bad thing anyway? They're the best learning experience we're ever going to get, and refusing to even acknowledge the mistake simply means we learned nothing from i

      • They're not oblivious. Pelosi, Schumer, Booker, et. al. know perfectly why they lost but to admit the truth would mean shining a spotlight on their donor base. You think they want to bring the unwashed masses of the Millenials into their party? How would they justify taking all that AIPAC, PhRMA, MIC, etc. money? Pelosi herself said they don't need change. They're doing very nicely as the well-paid cock-blockers of the Left that people actually want.
      • It's truly weird how over a year after President Trump won the election, and nearly a year since he assumed power, the left is still oblivious as to why they lost the election.

        It's not weird at all.

        They need to justify ever more mechanisms for throttling molding the information that people see. Even though the mainstream media gave her a lopsided boost, even though the DNC sacrificed their down-ballot elections to get her elected *and* cheated in the run up to the election, even though Facebook and Twitter and Google were banning people, deleting accounts, and reading peoples' documents, despite an army of "correct the record" trolls... despite all that, she still lost.

        They're pu

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          Their propaganda machine wasn't powerful enough, they're fixing it so that it'll be more powerful next time.

          I don't think their propaganda machine could have been more powerful then it was. It was more to the fact that they turned voters off to them by their actions more then anything. Hell you can dig through the DNC email leaks and so on and find out just how much they blew on corrupting /r/politics and /r/worldnews, and it still didn't work out for them. If anything, these actions that they're employing are working in a negative fashion. I'm going to point to Canada, where the federal Liberal Party and the

      • by DogDude ( 805747 )
        Comrade, you are correct! Trump is a "uniter" and has a "positive and encouraging vision"!
      • instead of uniting all Americans like President Trump did.

        Wow, this is so rich, it's... well, actually kind of boring at this point. But just for grins, let's see if I can find a few times Trump tried to unite people:
        Women: "Blood coming from Megyn Kelly's whatever", "I just grab em by the p***y"
        Mexicans are "rapists", incapable of being Judges.
        Iowans: "How stupid are the people of Iowa?"
        Bush supporters: Too many quotes to list
        Cruz supporters: 'Ted's father killed JFK'
        Muslims should be banned (reminder there's over 3 million Muslim American citizens)
        Vets, a

      • They lost because they ran a candidate who was widely disliked.

        More than Trump? Give me a break. And Ivan, you are glossing over a host of other dirty tricks, such as widespread and methodical Republican gerrymandering.

    • Vladimir Putin groped me while we were riding the public bus! I think he used microaggressions, too!!

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      When so much advertising is pay per view, it's silly that the statistics still only count clicks.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So I'm safe. Unlike the rest of you dweebs.

  • by Vinegar Joe ( 998110 ) on Friday December 22, 2017 @08:57PM (#55793423)

    Joe McCarthy was right!!!!!!

  • by labnet ( 457441 ) on Friday December 22, 2017 @08:57PM (#55793429)

    While they are at it, can they show me NSA, CIA, FBI, Plus every other propaganda agency of every other government. Why just single out the Russians.

    • by techno_dan ( 591398 ) on Friday December 22, 2017 @09:01PM (#55793437)
      I agree. I want to know about all propaganda, not just Russian. I feel that most of the propaganda is from the U.S.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The NSA, CIA, FBI domestic good news is now legal with changes to the Smith–Mundt Act https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]–Mundt_Act
      Domestic US propaganda like this is now legal and well funded.

      Thanks to the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act expect a daily flow of fake news from the best minds in the USA.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      While they are at it, can they show me NSA, CIA, FBI,

      Nah, this is about foreign interference in US elections, not US interference in foreign elections.
      Let other countries like Ukraine worry about CIA interference.

    • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Friday December 22, 2017 @10:16PM (#55793733)

      Why just single out the Russians.

      Russia has by far the largest propaganda team that is focused on affairs of foreign nations (China only gives a damn about China related stuff). Additionally, the effect (if not also the intent) of their propaganda is causing civil unrest. This is why Russia is being singled out.

      • by pots ( 5047349 )
        The parent may be trolling, but I am totally on board with that idea. Maybe they should start with the Russians, but in the long term greater transparency in advertising (and elsewhere) can only be a good thing. After all, while it may be primarily the Russians right now there's no reason to believe that this will always be the case.
      • RE China, they also have little need to disrupt the rest of the world in order to continue gaining power. Economically, militarily, and geo-politically, they've been gaining ground since before the right wing of the US started fighting with the rest of the US. Russia is the world power whose only chance for gaining power is the rest of us voluntarily losing it through insanity. They have a declining population, an aging military, and an economy that is almost entirely oil.
      • Are your sure it's not domestic propaganda that's causing civil unrest?

      • by Nexion ( 1064 )

        You stress Russia as a propaganda source and contrast it against China who seems self involved. I find it humorous that our people, as someone in the US, complains about "Russian interference" while living in a country that absolutely spent decades interfering with other countries. The history of attempts to kill Castro are a great source of humor, but you would have to be blind to think we don't do the same thing to other countries as has been alleged of Russia. After all, we can't really prove any of this

      • Yeah, no. You wrong. Largest foreign PR operation in US is Israel. Funny thing, it is so successful that US is basically paying it.

        This Russian thing. It is basically DNC PR operation.

    • While they are at it, can they show me NSA, CIA, FBI, Plus every other propaganda agency of every other government. Why just single out the Russians.

      It may take some time, but the role that at least some of them played (if any) will come out.

      House Republicans quietly investigate perceived corruption at DOJ, FBI [politico.com]

      Paul Calls For Investigation of Obama Officials: Collusion Against Trump Could Be 'Worse Than Watergate' [townhall.com]

      After it comes out there may be people going to jail ... and it probably won't be Trump's associates.

      Indeed, more interesting things keep emerging with time . . .

      The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook [politico.eu]

      While we're waiting

    • that successfully interfered in our elections and achieved all of their ends? Maybe you agree with the Russians that Trump should be president. But it still would have been nice for America to be able to decide it's president on our own.
  • No tool necessary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RyoShin ( 610051 ) <tukaro AT gmail DOT com> on Friday December 22, 2017 @09:22PM (#55793511) Homepage Journal

    Answer this simple quiz to know if you've encountered Russian Propoganda:
    1) Have you ever been on the internet?

    If you answered "yes", then congratulations!? You've encountered Russian Propaganda. And American Propaganda. And probably Botswana Propaganda. Maybe some Klingon stuff, too.

    I guess if you want to know if you interacted instead of just encountered you'll have to use that tool, and another for Twitter, and another for Tumblr, and another for LiveJournal[1], etc. I'm not trying to dismiss Russian interference (it's not good, and no, neither is American interference in foreign elections), but propaganda without direct interactions (such as, say, talking to certain members of a certain transition team for a certain President-Elect) has been blown out of proportion for their effect. With or without that interference, >40% of American voters didn't vote (or were blocked from voting), and about ~50% of those who did are idiots[2].

    [1] Yes I know LiveJournal is owned by a Russian company.
    [2] I leave it to the reader apply this assessment to whichever tribe they don't belong to.

    • I think you're right... there is some foreign propaganda, but how much influence has it really had on recent elections? It's interesting how loudly people decry Russian interference in our affairs, yet don't seem to want to know how far that influence extends.

      Maybe because the Russians are a convenient scapegoat for whatever is wrong with politics. Or they are a great excuse to curb free speech: our minister of the interior is adamant that 'something' needs to be done to combat trolls, by which she mea
    • If simply placing the wrong ideas in front of people causes society to fall apart, then we have already lost. The only way we can possibly be sustainable as a society is when most people can look at any idea, any idea or words possible, and rightly decide what is rubbish and what is a reasonable idea. Thus, education and exposing people to all words and concepts is the only possible way forward.

      Those who say that certain ideas are dangerous and want to prevent people from seeing them are the ones to be
  • Because I don't argue with random strangers on Facebook, nor do I allow anyone but my connected friends comment or even see my posts. If you let this shit be public then you're an idiot and deserve to be trolled.

  • by Walking The Walk ( 1003312 ) on Friday December 22, 2017 @09:56PM (#55793661)
    There's no tool at the linked page, or at least not displayed to me. Just a video and some bullet points saying that FB takes security seriously, will be removing fake accounts, and provided 3k ads to Congress. I'm in Canada and logged in to Facebook from a Canadian IP address, is this tool only being displayed to people who visit from an IP address geo-located to the USA?
  • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@gma i l .com> on Friday December 22, 2017 @10:13PM (#55793721) Journal

    How to tell if you've interacted with, and likely been indoctrinated by, Russian propaganda: If you're still reading this then it means you care whether you have, so you haven't. If you don't care whether you did, then you did.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Never went to Facebook. Never read the articles. Never pretended they were news.

    I'm good.

  • by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Friday December 22, 2017 @11:15PM (#55793915)

    ... when will you get it?

    Hillary Clinton was unlikable, had nothing positive going for her, was a terrible campaigner, and oh yeah, both horrifically and comically mishandled classified information. And that's just for starters.

    All that was real, no Russian anything needed. You lost because you sucked.

    But please, keep deluding yourselves. It can only make your next loss more likely.

  • Wow...filter out all of the Anonymous Coward "propaganda" here and the comments section starts to look like an actual discussion of sorts.
  • Well, not from that source anyway. Whether my wife whispers Russian propaganda into my ear as I sleep is a bit harder to be sure about. Then again, since she has chosen (for the time being) to live in the West, she's not got a lot of reason to propagandise.

    Unless we move back.

  • look in the mirror, are you a retard that uses sites like facebook for your news? if so you probably should have your right to vote removed for the safety of others.
  • Let me just log into uber creeper website that TOTALLY deserves our trust as an authority on the "truth".

  • Got it, now where do I go to see if I've interacted with Israeli propaganda?

    How do I report my local politician for having failed to sufficiently express their undying admiration of Israel?

  • #!/bin/ksh
    while true
    do
              print " I really don't care "
    done

  • (1) The link does not link to the described tool. None of the comments I looked at said this, which indicates that NONE of the comments were from people who had made that much effort to know what they were commenting about.

    (2) No mention of "Dark Money" or other explanations of how the elections of America have been rigged and gamed. That was a broader search beyond checking all the so-called insightful comments.

    (3) No funny comments.

    (4) Lots of trollage including bogus moderation. Doesn't really matter who

  • I didn't interact with facebook at all during the election. I have it listed as an untrusted domain.
  • I'm not on facebook! I'm smarter than that.
  • We are inundated with political ads all the time. We don't always know who paid for them directly or indirectly or why.

    When Obama was running they accepted untraceable contributions and no doubt used them to run ads.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/... [washingtonpost.com]

    Stop this stupidity already

    • If you lie even unwittingly in your political ads you are using propaganda that is as bad as anything the Russians might have done. It is your absolute responsibility as the candidate to get it right without any extremism. If you don't correct it once you find out you are far more guilty than the Russians.

      $100k in purchased ads where $67,000 of it was spent after the election, and where the other $43,000 of it was spent neither on positive nor negative ads about either candidate demonstrates the mainstrea

  • Anyone using FB as a primary news outlet is obviously too dumb to vote. Sadly, there seem to be a lot of them..

  • Oh my slashdot where hast thou gone?
    November 22, 2017
    https://www.recode.net/2017/11... [recode.net]

  • It's more effective than domestic propaganda, because it elected someone the mainstream media didn't want.

    I'm not sure I buy into that argument -- even assuming the Roooosians wanted Donald Trump, and made a serious attempt to propagandize their way to the outcome they wanted.

    If you're going to adopt that kind of reasoning, why not assume they propagandized for the primaries, too? That way, no matter who won -- Kang or Kodos -- they'd have one they liked.

    • Mainstream media didn't want. We the people on the other hand are far more difficult to assess. He's there obviously because the people wanted him. I'm sure promises of draining the swamp is a big factor.

      But what the mainstream media wants is irrelevant.

  • The conspiracy has become accepted as fact. When I see this sort of thing I giggle some. The idea that we were affected and that we are worried about it enough to actually look up whether it affected us is so hilarious. That someone would or could think of making tool is sort of frightening and comedic at the same time.

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