Money Facebook locks down key data as researchers analyze Russian influence

06:41  13 october  2017
06:41  13 october  2017 Source:   Engadget

Facebook Security Chief Warns of Dangers to Fake News Solutions

  Facebook Security Chief Warns of Dangers to Fake News Solutions Facebook Inc.’s chief security officer warned that the fake news problem is more complicated and dangerous to solve than the public thinks. Alex Stamos, who’s handling the company’s investigation into Russia’s use of the social media platform ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, cautioned about hoping for technical solutions that he says could have unintended consequences of ideological bias. It’s very difficult to spot fake news and propaganda using just computer programs, Stamos said in a series of Twitter posts on Saturday.

Needless to say, the researcher is upset. When the "bug" was quashed, Facebook told the Post, advertisers (and analysits like Albright) could no longer see information from "cached" posts that had already been taken down on Facebook (and Instagram).

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  Facebook locks down key data as researchers analyze Russian influence © Provided by Engadget The truth behind Facebook's involvement in Russian voter hacks continues to get more complicated. The social media company apparently knew about Russian meddling even before last year's US election. Mark Zuckerberg's company reported that 10 million people saw Russian political ads, and has handed over Russia-linked ads to Congress. According to a report in The Washington Post, however, Facebook recently scrubbed the internet of thousands of posts related to social media analyst Jonathan Albright's research that apparently concluded that at least twice as many people had seen the ads than Facebook reported.

Facebook Security Chief Warns of Dangers to Fake News Solutions

  Facebook Security Chief Warns of Dangers to Fake News Solutions Facebook Inc.’s chief security officer warned that the fake news problem is more complicated and dangerous to solve than the public thinks. Alex Stamos, who’s handling the company’s investigation into Russia’s use of the social media platform ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, cautioned about hoping for technical solutions that he says could have unintended consequences of ideological bias. It’s very difficult to spot fake news and propaganda using just computer programs, Stamos said in a series of Twitter posts on Saturday.

Facebook locks down key data as researchers analyze Russian influence . The social network says it was only available because of a bug.

Facebook locks down key data as researchers analyze Russian influence . The social network says it was only available because of a bug.

Needless to say, the researcher is upset. "This is public interest data," Albright told the Post. "This data allowed us to at least reconstruct some of the pieces of the puzzle. Not everything, but it allowed us to make sense of some of this thing."

Facebook confirmed to TheWashington Post that while the posts had been removed, it was due to a bug in its analytics tool CrowdTangle. According to the company, Albright should never have been able to see this information. When the "bug" was quashed, Facebook told the Post, advertisers (and analysits like Albright) could no longer see information from "cached" posts that had already been taken down on Facebook (and Instagram). "We identified and fixed a bug in CrowdTangle that allowed users to see cached information from inactive Facebook Pages," Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told the Post. "Across all our platforms we have privacy commitments to make inactive content that is no longer available, inaccessible."

Google uncovers Russian-bought ads on YouTube, Gmail and other platforms

  Google uncovers Russian-bought ads on YouTube, Gmail and other platforms The problem of Russian meddling on Google and Facebook is much greater than has been previously revealed.The Silicon Valley giant has found that tens of thousands of dollars were spent on ads by Russian agents who aimed to spread disinformation across Google’s many products, which include YouTube, as well as advertising associated with Google search, Gmail, and the company’s DoubleClick ad network, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss matters that have not been made public. Google runs the world’s largest online advertising business, and YouTube is the world’s largest online video site.

The last attempt to make Facebook Stories relevant was allowing people to cross-post Stories directly from Instagram. And, well, that hasn't exactly set the world on fire, so might as well open them up to corporate shills at this point.

No one uses Facebook Stories, so now they're available for #brands. Spotify gives artists real-time stats in a separate iOS app. Essential's 'Pure White' phone arrives after two-month delay.

It's hard not to see this as a convenient excuse to hide tens of millions of potentially damning data, of course, especially as COO Sheryl Sandberg has committed the company to transparency around the fake Russian ads. Social media analysis has become a large part of figuring out what happens in our society, and not allowing access to even "taken down" posts can seem alarming. We've reached out to Facebook for comment on this matter and will update the post when we hear back.

The Washington Post

BBC will use machine learning to cater to what audiences want to watch .
Today, BBC’s R&D team announced a five-year initiative to use machine learning to work out what audiences want to watch. To accomplish this, the team is partnering up with data scientists and experts from UK universities as well as media and tech companies based in Europe and internationally.The Data Science Research partnership intends to create “a more personal BBC” that can entertain in new ways. Researchers will analyze user data and apply algorithms to get marketing and media insights about audiences’ preferences.

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