It Took Facebook More Than A Year To Remove An Azerbaijan Troll Farm

Weeks after firing an internal whistleblower who called for Facebook to crack down on a massive network of fake activity connected to Azerbaijan’s ruling party, Facebook has removed more than 1,000 accounts and close to 8,000 pages.

Facebook linked the operation to the Youth Union of the governing New Azerbaijani Party. It said the accounts and pages were used to post comments that attacked opposition figures and independent media, and boost the country’s ruling party. This disclosure confirms what Sophie Zhang, a former Facebook data scientist, wrote in an explosive internal memo obtained by BuzzFeed News that said the company was ignoring manipulation of its platforms by political parties and heads of government.

On the day of her departure, she called the fake behavior in Azerbaijan her “greatest unfinished business,” and criticized Facebook for taking a year to investigate her findings. Last month, Facebook fired Zhang, and she posted the

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Turkey Says Facebook Risks Fines If Flouts New Social Media Law

(Bloomberg) — Turkey will penalize Facebook with escalating fines and could make it excrutiatingly slow to use the platform if the company flouts a new social media law that could be used to stifle dissent.



Buildings on the skyline of the European side sit on the horizon, framed beneath a Turkish flag flying from the Asian side, in Istanbul, Turkey, on Monday, April 27, 2020. Coming off a brief recession just over a year ago, the urgency is mounting for Turkey to loosen the screws on the economy as its currency and reserves come under pressure more than a month after it introduced social-distancing measures.


© Bloomberg
Buildings on the skyline of the European side sit on the horizon, framed beneath a Turkish flag flying from the Asian side, in Istanbul, Turkey, on Monday, April 27, 2020. Coming off a brief recession just over a year ago, the urgency is mounting for Turkey to loosen the screws on the economy as its currency and reserves come under pressure more than a month after it introduced social-distancing measures.

A senior Turkish official said The Menlo Park, California-based companyhad not formally told the government whether or not it would not be appointing a local representative.

But the social media giant will face an initial 10 million lira ($1.3 million) fine on Nov.

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Facebook removes hundreds of fake profiles tied to pro-Trump group

Facebook has removed hundreds of fake profiles it has linked to the conservative group Turning Point USA for carrying out organized attacks on the site, including attempts to influence public conversations by flooding news articles with pro-Trump comments and misinformation.



Charlie Kirk wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a flag: Photograph: Republican National Convention/Reuters


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Photograph: Republican National Convention/Reuters

The move was prompted by reporting last month in the Washington Post that found Turning Point Action, an affiliated pro-Trump group, was paying teenagers to post coordinated messages on the site, a violation of Facebook’s rules.

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Related: Facebook announces plan to stop political ads after 3 November

In comments on news articles, paid users cast doubt on mail-in ballots, praised Trump, and spread misinformation about coronavirus. Facebook traced these profiles to an Arizona-based communications company called Rally Forge, which it says worked on behalf of Turning Point USA.

In a blogpost, Facebook said it had removed 276 fake accounts,

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Domestic terrorism suspects who plotted to kidnap Whitmer shared plans in Facebook groups

According to details from a shocking new affidavit, the FBI uncovered a group planning “violent action against multiple state governments,” including a detailed plot to capture or kill Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The domestic terror group organized across Facebook groups, in-person events and at least two encrypted chat apps that the FBI did not name.

Whitmer, a Democrat, became a major target of pervasive anti-lockdown sentiment on the political right earlier this year when states imposed restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus. According to the affidavit, at a June in-person meeting, members of the group “talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor.”

Facebook says it played a “proactive” role in the FBI investigation, first reaching out to law enforcement six months ago. The FBI said it became aware of the activity through social media and also relied on an informant to collect information from within the

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Facebook removes fake accounts linked to Turning Point USA

  • Facebook has removed 200 fake accounts created by a marketing firm that was working for an affiliate of conservative youth group Turning Point USA. 
  • The company announced that it had discovered a coordinated campaign to use fake accounts to comment on news articles, writing messages centered around topics like the coronavirus outbreak and the 2020 election.
  • In examples published by Facebook, commenters criticized mail-in ballots, promoted big game hunting, and said Democrats “will do anything to screw over Americans.” 
  • Facebook said it discovered the campaign after reporting from the Washington Post last month found that the affiliate group, Turning Point Action, was paying teenagers to post pro-Trump messages. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Facebook has removed hundreds of fake accounts created by a marketing firm working for Turning Point Action, an affiliate of pro-Trump youth group Turning Point USA, the company announced Thursday. 

Facebook said it identified a

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Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, Apple have ‘monopoly power,’ Dems say

A Democratic congressional staff report recommends changes to antitrust laws and enforcement that could result in major changes for Big Tech companies like spinning off or separating parts of their businesses or making it harder to buy smaller companies.

The staff found, after a 16-month investigation into competitive practices at Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google, that the four businesses enjoy monopoly power that needs to be reined in by Congress and enforcers.

In a nearly 450-page report, the Democratic majority staff laid out their takeaways from hearings, interviews and the 1.3 million documents they scoured throughout the investigation. They conclude that the four Big Tech companies enjoy monopoly power and suggest Congress take up changes to antitrust laws that could result in parts of their businesses being separated.You can read the full report here.

The recommendations from Democratic staff include:

  • Imposing structural separations and prohibiting dominant platforms from entering adjacent
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Facebook letting advertisers sow climate denialism: analysis

Facebook is allowing climate misinformation ads to proliferate despite claiming it is committed to rooting out the problem, a new report by a think tank said Thursday.

InfluenceMap used the platform’s own data to identify 51 ads denying the link between human activity and climate change that were viewed a total of eight million times over the first half of 2020.

This was despite the fact that Facebook bans false ads, and stated as recently as September that it is “committed to tackling climate change through our global operations.”

Out of the 51 ads identified, only one was removed by the social media giant while the rest were allowed to run for the entirety of their scheduled campaign.

Two ran until the end of September.

Reacting to the new report, US Senator Elizabeth Warren told the think tank: “InfluenceMap’s devastating report reinforces and reveals how Facebook lets climate deniers spread

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Facebook says it will ban groups that openly support QAnon

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) —

Facebook said it will ban groups that openly support QAnon, the baseless conspiracy theory that paints President Donald Trump as a secret warrior against a supposed child-trafficking ring run by celebrities and “deep state” government officials.

The company said Tuesday that it will remove Facebook pages, groups and Instagram accounts for “representing QAnon” — even if they don’t promote violence. The social network said it will consider a variety of factors to decide if a group meets its criteria for a ban, including its name, the biography or “about” section of the page, and discussions within the page, group or Instagram account.

Mentions of QAnon in a group focused on a different subject won’t necessarily lead to a ban, Facebook said. Administrators of banned groups will have their personal accounts disabled as well.

Less than two months ago, Facebook said it would stop promoting the group

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Watch: Facebook flags onion seed ad as ‘overtly sexual’

Oct. 7 (UPI) — Officials with a Canadian business said they were left surprised, confused and somewhat amused when Facebook refused to run an ad because a photo of onions was flagged as an “overtly sexual image.”

Jackson McLean, a manager at Gaze Seed Company in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, said the company submitted an ad to Facebook to promote its walla walla onions, but the submitted image was rejected by the social media network because the photo, which depicted only a group of onions, was deemed to be “overtly sexual.”

“We got notified the other day that it’s an ‘overtly sexual image’ that they had to ban from the site,” McLean told CBC News. “I guess something about the two round shapes there could be misconstrued as boobs or something, nude in some way.”

McLean said he had to laugh at what was apparently an error by Facebook’s

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QAnon Was Kicked Off Facebook. Now Where Does It Go?

QAnon followers are scrambling for a new digital home after Facebook issued a blanket ban on the movement’s pages on Tuesday, in what looks likely to be the most significant social media crackdown in the history of the pro-Trump conspiracy movement.

Faced with a wide-ranging purge, QAnon followers dreaming of the day Donald Trump orders the mass arrests of his opponents are faced with a choice: flee to another, more Trumpian, social network, or try to go underground on Facebook by disassociating their QAnon groups from the increasingly toxic QAnon brand.

Facebook was uniquely valuable to QAnon believers, according to Travis View, a QAnon researcher and co-host of the QAnon Anonymous podcast, because it offered a huge well of potential followers, as well as a “group” function for QAnon believers to radicalize one another.

For years on Facebook, QAnon followers were more or less free to talk about their bizarre

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