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Sensitive to claims of bias, Facebook relaxed misinformation rules for conservative pages

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Facebook has allowed conservative news outlets and personalities to repeatedly spread false information without facing any of the company's stated penalties, according to leaked materials reviewed by NBC News.

According to internal discussions from the last six months, Facebook has relaxed its rules so that conservative pages, including those run by Breitbart, former Fox News personalities Diamond and Silk, the nonprofit media outlet PragerU and the pundit Charlie Kirk, were not penalized for violations of the company’s misinformation policies.

Facebook's fact-checking rules dictate that pages can have their reach and advertising limited on the platform if they repeatedly spread information deemed inaccurate by its fact-checking partners. The company operates on a "strike" basis, meaning a page can post inaccurate information and receive a one-strike warning before the platform takes action. Two strikes in 90 days places an account into “repeat offender” status, which can lead to a reduction in distribution of the account’s content and a temporary block on advertising on the platform.
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The list and descriptions of the escalations, leaked to NBC News, showed that Facebook employees in the misinformation escalations team, with direct oversight from company leadership, deleted strikes during the review process that were issued to some conservative partners for posting misinformation over the last six months. The discussions of the reviews showed that Facebook employees were worried that complaints about Facebook's fact-checking could go public and fuel allegations that the social network was biased against conservatives.

The removal of the strikes has furthered concerns from some current and former employees that the company routinely relaxes its rules for conservative pages over fears about accusations of bias.

Two current Facebook employees and two former employees, who spoke anonymously out of fear of professional repercussions, said they believed the company had become hypersensitive to conservative complaints, in some cases making special allowances for conservative pages to avoid negative publicity.

“This supposed goal of this process is to prevent embarrassing false positives against respectable content partners, but the data shows that this is instead being used primarily to shield conservative fake news from the consequences,” said one former employee.

About two-thirds of the “escalations” included in the leaked list relate to misinformation issues linked to conservative pages, including those of Breitbart, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Gateway Pundit. There was one escalation related to a progressive advocacy group and one each for CNN, CBS, Yahoo and the World Health Organization.

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/sensitive-claims-bias-facebook-relaxed-misinformation-rules-conservative-pages-n1236182

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Two sets if rules for two sets of political views.

Interesting.

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Somebody already said it here, but it bears repeating: Facebook is cancer.

Rant:

The trump era would be impossible without it. There are thousands of fraudulent accounts on it peddling anti-vaccine nonsense, qanon bullshit, and all manner of gobbledegook and quackery to gullible, brainwashed boomers and their eyes-too-close-together progeny who haven’t figured out yet that there’s a whole world outside the zip code they were raised in. I blame their hideous platform for mainstreaming conspiracy theories that only make sense if you don’t think about them for longer than ten seconds as well as the ridiculous inability for this country to get COVID under control. We should have been on the other side of this by may 1 but the anti-science right, galvanized over their love of blurry, misspelled memes and YouTube videos made by reg’lur ‘mericans just askin’ questions, decided that masks were mind-control devices because something something Bill gates and that their right to get shit-faced at the same bar every night for the rest of their lives so they won’t ever have to talk to their families superseded everyone else’s right to not contract a deadly virus. When we finally get a vaccine with the potential to end this nightmare, 25-30% of the country will refuse it because they believe Facebook accounts that use each other as sources over sound medical science. Zuck is as culpable as anyone for turning large numbers of Americans into walking, soup-brained voids who, once insignificant except as an easy target for snark, are now actively endangering the rest of us because they can spread their idiocy on Facebook like some kind of mouth-breathers’ siren song. I hope every single high-ranking person at Facebook, in the final seconds before they die, have clear epiphanies about the grievous harm they’ve caused, and draw their last breaths with looks of horror and regret and self-hatred fixed on their faces until they rot into the soil as nutrients. Open caskets for all of them so their friends and family can see just what kind of depraved lunatic they were in league with. They deserve worse, but since they’re rich, that’s probably the best we can reasonably hope for. 

/rant

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God I’d hate for people to be reading misinformation. They might start believing a criminal conspiracy exists between the Russian Government and the Trump Campaign. Can’t be having that :rolleyes:

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4 hours ago, IanforHeisman said:

Old people do their “research” on Facebook and spread the most ridiculous bullshit. 

Sweet Jesus...you don’t think 20 somethings do the same?

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My parents are boomers and I will guarantee they watch more news from multiple sources for their information than my two young adults do.   And it’s not even close

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Just now, Wyoguns said:

My parents are boomers and I will guarantee they watch more news from multiple sources for their information than my two young adults do.   And it’s not even close

I can only judge off the small world I live in.. But it’s always old people who get the fact check notice for sharing articles that aren’t true.

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1 minute ago, IanforHeisman said:

Qanon may have started at 4chan, but Facebook is where it spread.

And Twitter. 

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1 hour ago, IanforHeisman said:

I can only judge off the small world I live in.. But it’s always old people who get the fact check notice for sharing articles that aren’t true.

Same here and I admit the sample size isn’t real big lol

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2 hours ago, IanforHeisman said:

They do, but not nearly as often.

I have family in their 60's and high school friends in their early 30's spreading the same misinformation. I say it's about even. 

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10 hours ago, Spaztecs said:

Two sets if rules for two sets of political views.

Interesting.

That's the problem.

I see outright blatant lies by liberal facebook groups like "the other 98%" shared constantly, all day.  No fact checks.  

There were two sets of rules for two political views.  Seems they are trying to change that. 

Good for Facebook.  

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10 hours ago, SJSUMFA2013 said:

Somebody already said it here, but it bears repeating: Facebook is cancer.

Rant:

The trump era would be impossible without it. There are thousands of fraudulent accounts on it peddling anti-vaccine nonsense, qanon bullshit, and all manner of gobbledegook and quackery to gullible, brainwashed boomers and their eyes-too-close-together progeny who haven’t figured out yet that there’s a whole world outside the zip code they were raised in. I blame their hideous platform for mainstreaming conspiracy theories that only make sense if you don’t think about them for longer than ten seconds as well as the ridiculous inability for this country to get COVID under control. We should have been on the other side of this by may 1 but the anti-science right, galvanized over their love of blurry, misspelled memes and YouTube videos made by reg’lur ‘mericans just askin’ questions, decided that masks were mind-control devices because something something Bill gates and that their right to get shit-faced at the same bar every night for the rest of their lives so they won’t ever have to talk to their families superseded everyone else’s right to not contract a deadly virus. When we finally get a vaccine with the potential to end this nightmare, 25-30% of the country will refuse it because they believe Facebook accounts that use each other as sources over sound medical science. Zuck is as culpable as anyone for turning large numbers of Americans into walking, soup-brained voids who, once insignificant except as an easy target for snark, are now actively endangering the rest of us because they can spread their idiocy on Facebook like some kind of mouth-breathers’ siren song. I hope every single high-ranking person at Facebook, in the final seconds before they die, have clear epiphanies about the grievous harm they’ve caused, and draw their last breaths with looks of horror and regret and self-hatred fixed on their faces until they rot into the soil as nutrients. Open caskets for all of them so their friends and family can see just what kind of depraved lunatic they were in league with. They deserve worse, but since they’re rich, that’s probably the best we can reasonably hope for. 

/rant

 

The reason we have not gotten COVID under control is less crazy uncle Phil and aunt Karen talking about mask tyranny and more young people refusing to social distance.

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3 hours ago, halfmanhalfbronco said:

That's the problem.

I see outright blatant lies by liberal facebook groups like "the other 98%" shared constantly, all day.  No fact checks.  

There were two sets of rules for two political views.  Seems they are trying to change that. 

Good for Facebook.  

I've seen the warning about "fact checked" stories as I scroll through and I always make a point to stop and see who shared it to get an idea of who is sharing them and without fail, it appears on stories shared by conservative friends. I never click on the stories themselves, but I do get a barometer of who is being fact checked. I'm not overly confidant that the "fact checkers" that FB uses do so equally because I've seen a ton of stories from liberal friends that are clearly not accurate shared without restrictions or warnings. 

Case in point, according to reports, FB keeps track of instances where people have liked or shared COVID stories that are untrue and that goes on your "FB record" towards getting warnings. The problem that I see with that is that information, even from normally reliable sources (WHO, CDC, etc) have turned out to be untrue or misleading. Either way, I don't think FB is being straight with its handling of all of this. 

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2 hours ago, Slapdad said:

I've seen the warning about "fact checked" stories as I scroll through and I always make a point to stop and see who shared it to get an idea of who is sharing them and without fail, it appears on stories shared by conservative friends. I never click on the stories themselves, but I do get a barometer of who is being fact checked. I'm not overly confidant that the "fact checkers" that FB uses do so equally because I've seen a ton of stories from liberal friends that are clearly not accurate shared without restrictions or warnings. 

Case in point, according to reports, FB keeps track of instances where people have liked or shared COVID stories that are untrue and that goes on your "FB record" towards getting warnings. The problem that I see with that is that information, even from normally reliable sources (WHO, CDC, etc) have turned out to be untrue or misleading. Either way, I don't think FB is being straight with its handling of all of this. 

there's wrong

and then there's intentionally wrong with intent to solidify a pre-determined conclusion.  who, cdc, and others are going to start with the data and end with a conclusion.  flip that backwards and we have serious problems.

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20 minutes ago, AndroidAggie said:

there's wrong

and then there's intentionally wrong with intent to solidify a pre-determined conclusion.  who, cdc, and others are going to start with the data and end with a conclusion.  flip that backwards and we have serious problems.

100% agree.

I do think the fact checking team was not spending the same resources policing liberal groups as they were conservative.  It became pretty obvious.  Hence the measures they are taking now.  The only fact checks I ever saw came from conservative pages.  Despite the fact my feed is largely not conservative and the outright lies or misrepresenting of data I see comes from liberal pages.  For a bit there, if a conservative meme was even slightly not accurate, it had a fact check next to it.  But outright lies from "liberal" pages with 5+ million shares had no such thing.

 

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