Facebook Hatred

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Facebook’s "undesirable" appearance policy keeps blocking the wrong people

In theory, the policy is meant to block predatory ads that target people who are overweight or have skin conditions, pushing unusual and often medically dangerous miracle cures. “Ads referring to someone’s body or appearance are personal in nature and we don’t want users to feel singled out,” Facebook explained.

But in practice, the policy isn’t nuanced enough to recognize ads like Gillies’, which are looking to celebrate those same conditions. Gillies responded to Facebook’s policy on her blog, writing, “Apparently my skin is put in the same ‘undesirable’ bracket as ‘eating live animals’... so that’s nice to know.”
 

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A few weeks ago, Facebook made it clear that posts shared by politicians are exempt from Facebook's community standards and also from fact-checking. The company did, however, indicate one area where posts made by politicians' accounts could be subject to scrutiny: in paid advertising. Faced with a stark real-world test, though, Facebook appears once again to be erring on the side of letting misinformation circulate far and wide if a politician promotes it.

The ad in question involves—you guessed it—President Donald Trump and his campaign for re-election. The Trump campaign in the past week has been airing ads on Facebook making false accusations about former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential nomination. The ads' claims about Biden's activities in Ukraine and elsewhere have been repeatedly debunked as baseless conspiracy theories, not only by media outlets but also by Republican politicians.

Cable network CNN deemed the ads in question too misleading to broadcast and refused to air them. Facebook, however, considers the matter out of its hands.
 

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Playing by the rules...

 
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Eunoli

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Facebook is as much a public utility as any other at this point. I'd say the FCC needs to police it - but not until (if) we return to a normal government.
 
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A lengthy piece from Steven Levy in Wired today revealed parts of a 2006 journal from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. You can read the Wired story here, and also our take on the most notable part of it, which is that Zuckerberg once considered something wild called “dark profiles.” But what struck me most was the fact that what we saw today in Wired may be the only glimpse we ever get at Zuckerberg’s intimate journal record — because he destroyed the rest of it.

“The notebooks have now mostly disappeared, destroyed by Zuckerberg himself,” Levy reports. “He says he did it for privacy reasons.”

It’s difficult to capture the magnitude of this irony.
Please, try anyway.
 
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