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AluminiumTech

Facebook is "sorry" that Russian ADs influenced the 2016 US Election

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Facebook has realized that Russian ADs on Facebook during the 2016 US Election influenced it.

 

Here's what Facebook had to say:

Quote

We know we have a responsibility to prevent everything we can from this happening on our platforms," COO Sheryl Sandberg told Axios. "So we told Congress and the Intelligence committees that when they are ready to release the ads, we are ready to help them

 

Quote

We don’t usually share the sizes of specific teams at Facebook," Joel Osborne, a company spokesman, wrote to the Times. "Our teams review millions of ads around the world each week, and we use a mix of automated and manual processes. We’re not sharing an exact break-out of the number of manually reviewed political ads.

 

Here's what ArsTechnica had to say:

Quote

On Wednesday, leaders of the House Intelligence Committee, which has been investigating the connections between the ads and the election, said it would publicly release thousands of ads.

Facebook seems to now be making high-level executives available to media this week, but they don't appear to be providing lengthy or substantive public information. Sandberg’s remarks come as Facebook is under newfound scrutiny in the wake of reports that Russia used online ads to stoke various political opinions and possibly influence the 2016 presidential election.

Sandberg characterized the Russian ads and the prevalence of fake news as a "new threat," and she added that the company must offer "not just an apology, but determination for our role in enabling Russian interference during the election."

She didn't answer a later question as to whether the Trump campaign and the Russian-bought ads targeted the same users. "Targeting is something that everyone uses," she said. "When the ads get released we will be releasing the targeting for those ads."

Meanwhile, another Facebook executive said the company plans to change how it accepts political ads in the run-up to the November 2018 mid-term elections in the United States. CTO Mike Schroepfer told Reuters on Wednesday that the company was "working on all of this stuff actively now."

 

Damnit Facebook. Every political AD should be manually reviewed. Heck, every AD period should be manually reviewed. It's almost as if these companies are afraid of having a human look at things -_-....

 

And now you're sorry?

That makes me feel a hell of a lot better about having Trump as president /s

 

idek guys...

 

Source:

https://arstechnica.co.uk/tech-policy/2017/10/facebook-execs-are-talking-about-russian-ads-but-theyre-not-saying-much/


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How did ads on Facebook influence the election at all? The president doesn't get elected based on our votes.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, KuJoe said:

How did ads on Facebook influence the election at all? The president doesn't get elected based on our votes.

The votes from the people go to the Electoral College and the votes from the people may have been influenced by the Russian ADs.


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Facebook has released 2 reports on these ads, in which Facebook has gone to lengths to emphasize all of the following:

 

- the ads were non-political in nature, and didn't feature or favour a political candidate
- 56% of the ads were run AFTER the 2016 US federal election
- 25% of the ads were never displayed to anyone due to Facebook's algorithms not finding them relevant to trending interests
- only 25% of the ads were geographically-targeted
- of those ads that ran, and that ran before the 2016 election, most were displayed in 2015
- Facebook is not sure that the ads were part of an organized campaign
- Facebook is not sure that the accounts the ads were purchased with are associated with each other
- Facebook is not certain that the ads were purchased by Russians
- many of the ads were not purchased using Russia's currency
- huge numbers of actual political ads are bought and run on Facebook from all countries around the world, and that is normal and OK
- the "overwhelming majority" of ad-space purchases from Russia by Russians are normal and not suspicious in any way

 

Also worth pointing out is that the $100K of non-political ads in question represents 0.00147% of the total $6.8 billion (according to CBS) spent on political advertising for the 2016 US federal election campaign.

 

That is, the $100k of ads in question would represent 0.00147% of the total amount spent on political advertising if the $100k of ads had actually been political, itself. But, as Facebook has stressed, the $100k of ads in question are non-political in nature, and so the $100k actually represents 0.00000% of the $6.8 billion spent on political advertising during the 2016 US election.


So, how would Facebook apologize for election-interfering ads which Facebook says didn't interfere in the election, and which weren't even political in nature?

 

 

I think it's obvious that Facebook's marketing department thought of the idea to use the current Russia hysteria trend as the basis for a low-hanging-fruit PR campaign, which is successfully giving their advertisement platform a ton of free widespread publicity and giving Facebook lots of opportunities to talk about the specifics of their advertisement platform's features, both in their own reports and in the many interviews Facebook has been giving since bringing up the subject.

 

The original mention of the subject by Facebook and their following reports on the ads have been spaced apart so as to keep the subject in social media and news for as long as possible, while not making any strong statements in either way concerning the subject, and while making the details sound like things to be perpetually considered, without any clear destination in reach. Facebook is deliberately treading water with the subject, to use it as marketing for their ad services.


It's overtly a publicity stunt.

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Just now, AluminiumTech said:

The votes from the people go to the Electoral College and the votes from the people may have been influenced by the Russian ADs.

The Electoral College votes how they want, sometimes they vote with the people and sometimes they don't (in this case, Trump lost the popular vote but won the electoral vote). If anything, that proves that the Russian ads had no effect unless they were anti-Trump ads.


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27 minutes ago, AluminiumTech said:

The votes from the people go to the Electoral College and the votes from the people may have been influenced by the Russian ADs.

But, 56% of the ads were shown after the election, and of the ads which displayed before the election, most were shown in 2015, long before the election. And as Facebook has said the ads were non-political, and didn't feature or favour a political candidate. So, I don't think it's possible that they could have influenced the election.

 

 

Putting the pre-election ad views into numbers:

 

The ads were allegedly seen by 10 million people.

 

Only 44% of the ads were seen before the election = 4.4 million views before the election

 

Roughly 26% of US population is under the voting age of 18. So, 4.4 - 1.14 = 3.26 million ads were seen before the election by potential voters.

 

Then, add that only 25% of the ads were geographically-targeted (for which region?), which means, if all geographically-targeted ads were for the US (though Facebook hasn't said this), while the rest went wherever, then maybe some 815,000 people would have seen one of these ads before the election.

 

If you wanted to apply the 58% voter turnout to that number, then maybe only 472,699 of voters saw an ad before the election - if all geographically-targeted ads, or at least 25% of all the ads, were shown to people in the US.

 

But then, Facebook says that most of the pre-election ads were seen in 2015, not the election year - and also that the ads were non-political in nature, and didn't feature or favour a political candidate... and all the rest. So, I gotta say that this reads exactly like a publicity stunt to give widespread free coverage to Facebook's advertisement platform and features. And Facebook sure has been talking up its ads program features and numbers in interviews they've given about this subject. Did you know that Facebook receives over 8 million flagged ads a day, and that they're increasing their ad-reviewing staff by 1,000 (or something, didn't pay too much attention) people?

 

 

But, if Facebook thinks that people are catching on that this is a publicity stunt, then Facebook is going to go into panic mode and try to act more and more serious about the matter, as if it really was about a social media campaign, because they'll want to save face and avoid the PR disaster that this could turn into for Facebook.

 

 

What Facebook should be talking about is how their political advertising sales team specifically pitches to political interests Facebook's ability to sway elections through advertising:

 

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/02/facebook-executive-advertising-data-comment

 


And if wanting to discuss government-sponsored propaganda, then I think that US media should be talking about the over $50 million a year that the US spends to spread propaganda in Russia - and that's just what's visible on the books:

 

http://freewestmedia.com/2017/09/23/foreign-governments-spend-millions-to-influence-russian-elections/

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Posted · Original PosterOP
8 minutes ago, dexT said:

Subforum needs a name change. Fake Tech News and Reviews.

 

13 minutes ago, KuJoe said:

The Electoral College votes how they want, sometimes they vote with the people and sometimes they don't (in this case, Trump lost the popular vote but won the electoral vote). If anything, that proves that the Russian ads had no effect unless they were anti-Trump ads.

 

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/10/russias-facebook-ads-have-been-handed-over-to-congress/

 

The ADs were very much of a political nature.

 

Quote

Many of the ads weren't supporting specific candidates, but rather seem meant to stoke division around flash points in American society, particularly around immigration and race relations. 470 different pages and profiles were linked to the Internet Research Agency, according to Facebook.

The Washington Post reported that one of the ads featured pictures of a black woman "dry firing" a rifle with no ammunition in it. It isn't clear what the ad was promoting. The New York Times found a wide variety of groups, including a fiery "Defend the 2nd" gun-rights group, a gay rights group called "LGBT United," and even an animal lovers' page with pictures of puppies.

 


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Free press for Facebook. Good for them.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
5 minutes ago, Delicieuxz said:

snip

The ADs were political and whilst they didn't favor any specific candidate, it's obvious that the contents of the ADs supported ideas that were expressed by one candidate.


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16 minutes ago, AluminiumTech said:

 

They supposedly featured socially-divisive topics, but Facebook says they weren't political, at least in regards to the election campaign:

 

https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/09/information-operations-update/

Quote

The vast majority of ads run by these accounts didn’t specifically reference the US presidential election, voting or a particular candidate.


Rather, the ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum — touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights.

 

That said, there are apparently some leaked descriptions of the ads, but I haven't read this article, myself. Just had it bookmarked from earlier in case I thought I might want to read it (still don't feel like it):

 

Leaked Descriptions Of Infamous "Russia Ads" Derail Collusion Narrative "They Showed Support For Clinton"

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2 minutes ago, AluminiumTech said:

The ADs were political and whilst they didn't favor any specific candidate, it's obvious that the contents of the ADs supported ideas that were expressed by one candidate.

Which candidate was for gun rights, gay rights, and puppy rights? Weird they didn't bring up the BLM ads? Which party embraces and is embraced by Black Lives Matter?


.

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Online advertising has almost no effect on Voting.  This is the reason why there are so many Paid Shills. They're far more effective as turning comments sections one direction or the other.

 

This is still just butt covering from the fact that all of the major Pollsters were working in hand with other paid media to push Hillary. They never noticed (though a lot of us did) that the public polls no longer reflected anything close to the voting base. (Short version: Only white, college-educated and mostly Women respond at a high enough rate for the surveys to be useful. This is why Romney polled better than he performed & Trump performed better than he Polled.) The public-faced polling missed reality because they heavily polled Clinton's 3 key bases. NYC, SanFran & LA. 

 

This narrative also exists to deflect from a reality that a Clinton Administration was going to drive us into a war with Russia and Hillary openly stated as such during the 3rd Debate. (No Fly Zone in Syria = War with Russia.) Certain factions need something to exist to assuage their own failures. If we want to talk about Foreign Influence on the US Election, we need to start with Mexico, China, Israel, Saudi Arabia and most of Central America. 

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I'd be more concerned about the echo chambers and intellectual voids on facebook rather than a few ads that no one looks at anyway.  It's the dumb shit people share in their news feeds that spreads the most lies and dangerous rhetoric.


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I don’t know about you but whenever Facebook says something, I take it with a grain of salt. 

————————————

1 hour ago, AluminiumTech said:

Electoral College

I’m so glad only a few countries has that pesky and problematic electoral college system 


There is more that meets the eye
I see the soul that is inside

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1 hour ago, AluminiumTech said:

. It's almost as if these companies are afraid of having a human look at things

how would an ad being reviews by a human stop this thing from happening exactly?

 

humans make mistakes and humans sometimes do things they aren't meant to only difference is that an AI is much cheaper and doesn't get upset when you tell it off. 


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20 minutes ago, KuJoe said:

The Electoral College votes how they want, sometimes they vote with the people and sometimes they don't (in this case, Trump lost the popular vote but won the electoral vote). If anything, that proves that the Russian ads had no effect unless they were anti-Trump ads.

No. That is in no way how the electoral college works. 

College members vote based upon the vote of the citizens of their region. The reason why the electoral College did not mirror the "flat" vote is that each state is given a certain number of college votes based on their % of America's population.  but, since they have been given these points previous to recent changes in population density coupled with a few rules on minimum and maximum "college votes" per state, the ratios have fallen out of accuracy. So one vote in say, Illinois, is worth more than a vote in say, Texas. 

 

The Electoral college is NOT a bunch of faceless officials who get to choose the president regardless of the actual vote. 

 

In terms of the actual ads, the left is desperate to clutch to any straws they can. I highly doubt that some alleged ads on Facebook would change the vote. 


- snip-

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1 hour ago, KuJoe said:

The Electoral College votes how they want, sometimes they vote with the people and sometimes they don't (in this case, Trump lost the popular vote but won the electoral vote). If anything, that proves that the Russian ads had no effect unless they were anti-Trump ads.

Jesus... and we wonder how we end up with a president like Trump... seems like nobody even understands how the system works. 

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If all it took was $100K in ads to sway the election then we were fucked anyway...also it's funny how everyone is freaking out about this but then doesn't think the CIA hasn't been in Russia, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, or any other country that is anti-USA in the last 50 years doing the same shit. That's completely justified though because 'Murica.

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15 minutes ago, MrDynamicMan said:

The Electoral college is NOT a bunch of faceless officials who get to choose the president regardless of the actual vote.

It actually is. This is exactly how it works.

 

EDIT: I guess I should elaborate, in 24 states the Electoral College can vote however they want.

 

Quote

There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that requires Electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their states. Some states, however, require Electors to cast their votes according to the popular vote. These pledges fall into two categories—Electors bound by state law and those bound by pledges to political parties.

Source: https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/electors.html#restrictions


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21 minutes ago, Alexokan said:

Jesus... and we wonder how we end up with a president like Trump... seems like nobody even understands how the system works. 

Agreed, it's depressing when I see people who don't even know what the Electoral College is.


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This includes flame wars such as NVIDIA vs AMD, political or religious debate.

Sorry @AluminiumTech but I am going to have to lock this, I honestly cannot see how this topic can be discussed without talking politics and those discussions have a history of going bad really fast.

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