That is one reason fb (and maybe Google too and twitter and whoever else) are donating: make an independent sock puppet, they can decide and you just point at the when people complain. They're a "sin eater".
Its not different to how music and movie companies have banded together in the past to deal with "moral" crusades. I guess this is like regulatory capture technically, but where you build the regulator yourself. "Regulatory farming" maybe?
Personally I'm very dubious about fb (or anyone else) setting up an "arbiter of truth" and deciding who can advertise and what they can claim. But I prefer to think it's a marketing/political ploy than a dastardly plot to control our reality. They make 1000 times more money selling us sugar and then diet pills than political bs, but the political bs is upsetting that market.
They cut out sexual content first because it's biggest nono in the US where they come from. Bigger than nazis or racists. But then people got railed up about other things. Nazis, racists, transphobes, mysogynists, political lies.
Peaceful harvest becomes harder and harder.
No wonder they want to outsource all that noise. They want to be given clear direction which part of the field is safe and which is the part of shifting sands of public outrage.
Zuckerberg is literally just begging to be censored. Censor will set up clear boundaries of safe field current companies can share and keep the status quo since new player won't be able to attack them from the direction of fuzzy boundary because there won't be any.
I get wanting to pull down literal Nazis and I mostly agree. But scope creep on who is a Nazi and the ever vaguer "hate speech" will spell true trouble as they get even more unclear.
Most people, most content creators, most content consumers, most people in general, really don't give 2 mosquito dicks about any of the issues I think are important.
Privacy from the government? Nope. If you're not a crook, you've got nothing to fear.
Tech companies having too much info about you that they will share with the government? Ditto.
Nazis can't get free speech? Who cares. In fact, GOOD, I don't want that crap popping up on my kids' recommended list anyway. Good job YouTube!
Lately I have been beginning to understand the magnitude of the problem. Apathy is far more powerful than any government.
And the worst part of all? The only thing they have to do to fuel apathy is keep the trains running on time and keep the walmart/grocery store shelves stocked. That's all.
I'm becoming convinced that this problem is being attacked wrong. We need to stop talking about Nazis and politicians and start talking about some group that is actually respectable that may be shut out. I don't know off hand what that content would resemble. But I do know that almost no one likes politicians, nazis, and pedophiles. So it's making me believe that continuing to have those groups attaching themselves to our arguments is counterproductive at this point.
I agree with you that these things are important, but why do you think so if you can't formulate a good argument for them that doesn't rely on peoples' sympathy for Nazis?
Why do you think it's important if not to protect speech that most people do not like? I mean, if it's speech or behavior that no one has a problem with, why does it need your protection?
To put it another way, it seems like it's not just about the difference between the framing of the "big story" on the NBC evening news and on TruthS33k3r_42's channel; it seems more about the difference between having or caring about a single story at all, and perhaps just chatting on Discord/forums/Twitter/Messenger about something completely separate.
Now they’re losing grip on relevance and they don’t like it one bit.
For a lesson, see their reaction to Richard Jewell vs All The Presidents Men. They like being seen as heroes, even if the facts are stretched, but if they are shown less gloriously, they complain about the fictionalization aspect...
Facebook and Google are platforms, analogous to a printing house. They let anybody publish their opinions, without endorsement.
You wouldn't go nuts at HaperCollins for printing Mein Kampf, or a bookstore/library for distributing it.
That's nothing at all like a newspaper, where everyone gets the same issue.
> Why do publishers and news papers have different sets of responsibilities, by the way?
Because that's how the world works: different people have different jobs.
The newsstand/ISP delivers information which was put in readable form by the printer/website platform syndicated by the news agency/subreddit and authored by the reporter/person.
They should just call it Ministry of Truth or even Minitrue as a nod to the Orwell.
But there are a few issues.
First, practically, you now have to decide what is "political". Is an ad for abortion services political? What about the NRAs latest membership campaign? Or a gun safety campaign? Lots of things are political to at least someone. So who decides what's political? You're still in something of a mess. And you technically have to ban ads that are entirely factually true now!
Similarly, even if you can stop the ad next to a celeb tweet being political, can you stop the same buyers paying celebs to Tweet fake news directly or Russian bots creating 10,000 accounts and tweeting fake news? Will you go through @Potus tweets and cut out the fake news? Suddenly the Liberal media is eating trump babies.
Second, it doesn't solve your core problem: traditional media, from the guardian to fox, will now attack you for being anti free speech (AND for every time an ad gets through your filter, that looks like it shouldn't). They don't actually care about whether you publish fake news. They publish it. They just want you to die. Plus now you've offended your freedom loving users, and alienated the politicos relating you. Maybe under the 1st amendment US politicians can't FORCE firms to take their ads. But they can audit them, drag them I front of Congress, cut net neutrality so ISPs eat their profits etc.
Ultimately, its down to users to filter their media and fact check it. It always has been. There was never a golden age where newspapers reported facts in order of importance and politicians were honest and policy fact driven. But no one wants to admit that. Facebook made that mistake, it was reported as "Facebook will publish fake news, eat babies, fuck your wife"
We expect FB and Google to exercise editorial control but they can't for two reasons. The first is the narrative we have subscribed to as a society is that to avoid legal liability because they are "platforms" aka common carriers of other peoples content.. Clearly they didn't make it. Yet, FB and Google can clearly do content regulation when the law requires it (exhibit a.. Nazi propaganda in Germany or illicit images) and even where the law does not (exhibit b.. posts or YouTube content with background music being muted due to copyright claims). Cable TV providers clearly censor ads and content as well. Some of that is upstream of the local cable tv delivery service but in essence they all operate in "cahoots"
The second is the slippery slope is that enforcement in the case of Google and FB is the threat of anti-trust investigations This is the "the Sword of Damocles" that hangs over them. So setting up an independent tribunal is a way to maintain a suspension of disbelief.
Any details on how board members will be appointed, vetted and selected?
This looks like Facebook creating a red herring it can blame for the consequences of policing its platform.
> While Facebook will select the first 11 members of the board, the eleven will choose the remaining board members, with terms lasting three years.
facebook picks the first 11 board members and then those 11 staff new appointments for 3 year terms, but not sure if the first 11 also control staffing throughout the org.
if this is a "facebook supreme court" then its kinda fishy if the stakeholders get to appoint the first 11 judges...
edit: also, tsk tsk wallstreet journal. if you use numerals (11) in a piece of writing, dont switch to the written number (eleven)!
So it's a Facebook-controlled board.
An honest mechanism would involve outside groups from the start. A legitimate mechanism probably requires the government to step in.
This is simply a deflection mechanism, a board for PR.
> if you use numerals (11) in a piece of writing, dont switch to the written number (eleven)
This is common style advice. The numeral represents a quantity. Written out, it represents the body per se.
So Facebook reserves its right to dictate who serves on the board, whether directly or indirectly.
> Facebook Inc. will pay $130 million to establish an independent board charged with reviewing how the company moderates its content...
First of all, isn't it ironic that the owner of the largest social networks in the world is attempting to fund a independent court / board for content with Facebook money? If they're not the only ones backing this, then both them and private corporations funding this whilst trying to maintain this institution's independent nature is going to have lots of trust issues.
Sounds like this is the establishment of the Facebook "Supreme Court" for Content.
Facebook picks board members who then pick more board members. The sole financial backer is Facebook. At a whim, Mark Zuckerberg could ignore, re-constitute or disband the board.
It's far from independent.
Alas I cannot, so I'll just continue to foo(); bar(); baz(); my way along.
Ban non-geographically targeted political ads. Create a public repository of all political ads.
Creating a puppet entity and calling it a court is dishonest and insulting.
(The only proper solution, of course, is breaking up Facebook into, at the very least, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Concentrated market power is the fundamental problem.)
This actually sounds like a good idea. Ads about issues pertaining a whole region should be seen by the whole region.
> Create a public repository of all political ads.
Doesn't this exist already? https://www.facebook.com/ads/library/
> The only proper solution, of course, is breaking up Facebook into, at the very least, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Not saying this wouldn't be good, but how would this help with the whole content moderation debacle? It looks to me like Twitter, YouTube, etc has the same issue. This specific problem doesn't sound like something that would be magically fixed if there was more competition, though I might be wrong.
They also are broadly broadcast so that they can be dis-proven and discussed. Instead they are hidden away only shown to people that won't question it.
If facebook wants to do political ads then it needs to disconnect them from targeting, publish them for public display, publish who paid for the ad, and moderate them to some basic level of being truthful.
They may not "micro-target", but they can definitely target them.
Any political campaign will tell you they do their damnedest to ensure their ads are running at the right times on the right TV/radio stations.
Honestly, hours of traditional media itself (Fox, MSNBC) likely does far more to bias opinion than handfuls of 30-second ads.
It should, but only because it's incredibly annoying.
Fair point. I suppose targeting could be balanced against a public cool-down period.
So you can randomly target people in the district now. Or, make your targeted ad publicly available for N days before it goes out. This would let the public see it, check it, and potentially respond before the damage is done.
No censorship. Just a head start for the public if a campaign wants to target.
I feel like you are inadvertedly misrepresenting OP's point. The OP specifically referred to geographically targeted ads, which have already a long history of being manipulated to subvert the Democratic process by foreign actors with disastrous consequences, and instead you somehow are talking about "closing off an entire sector of content to political advertising"?
It might not have been your intention but your post sounds like a disingenuous strawman.
Yes, and you've made a gross misrepresentation by equating it wi "closing off an entire sector of content to political advertising." It's a very disingenuous take on what was actually said.
> Besides, the “long history of being manipulated ... with disastrous consequences” is a  assertion.
Really? In this day and age are you still trying to turn a blind eye to the elections in the US and the UK?
> Certainly, the thin support for that position doesn’t overcome the fact that it makes total sense to allow targeting ads by geography.
You're again coming off as very disingenuous by misrepresenting what was actually said, as the OP specifically talked about non-geographically targeted ads and you in turn decided to talk about the exact opposite.
Put another way: how can we determine actual harm caused, and be sure that it isn't blown out of proportion? (IE Cambridge Analytica playing up their capabilities to get new customers)
Moderation policy is an axis of competition. Letting each platform explore moderation systems (a) let’s us compare results, (b) reduces the damage a single company’s bad policies can inflict, (c) and gives users on both sides alternatives if they disagree.
Look through my posts in this thread. FB causes shitstorms of damage not the least of which is aggregation / indoctrination of dissention through isolation.
FB is basically pushing monsters outside of its gates in hopes they "go away". They wont. lol.
Also there are legal practices call "punitive damages" so yes there exists legal statutes for punishing things that we determine we dont like.
If you do what Twitter is now doing, "restrict rather than outright ban", you're back to having to serve as an arbiter.
My comment suggests no such banning. The ads simply couldn't be micro-targeted. They'd also need to be made public, so the public, journalists and other interest groups could review, vet and respond to them.
If you live in the US, or Europe, or pretty much any country Facebook operates in, the company is spending millions of dollars every year to lobby your government. While that may not sound like a lot, political influence is surprisingly cheap, and effects you whether or not you choose to participate in the political process. The CEO meets regularly with the president of the United States and his close associates, and has met and spoken with many other world leaders.
Facebook is a major facilitator of violence and ethnic cleansing around the world (https://time.com/5197039/un-facebook-myanmar-rohingya-violen..., https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-india-content/fa..., https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/chinse-media-fa...). You might argue that if they couldn't use Facebook, people would just use some other platform or tool to accomplish the same goal. That's possible, but if it's happening on Facebook, the company has a responsibility to take action, and they have failed. I don't think there is any other platform that could be used as effectively as Facebook and WhatsApp for this purpose.
Even if you don't use Facebook, they likely have a profile for you if anybody you know uses it. They collect contacts from peoples' phones, and scan for faces in all photographs (and correlate the results with other photos). If you don't have robust ad and tracker blocking in your web browser, Facebook is tracking your behavior with their ubiquitous like buttons and analytics scripts.
Because they are a dragnet of private information that is used specifically against your best interests, both private and public.
You're policing speech. It hasn't historically worked well.
Personally, I'd rather just see Facebook stop being such a huge force in the market and instead move toward a decentralized model like Mastodon with ActivityPub, but there's no way Facebook is going to go that voluntarily, nor is there any reason that they should.
So, at the very least, they could make this organization completely outside of Facebook's oversight, kind of like how the ESRB works. Maybe this is their end goal, idk, but if they choose to retain control, people are always going to be skeptical.
1) I listened to Zuckerburgs podcast on free speech. I felt that while it had the appearance of adhering to the principles of the first amendment I think the purpose of the podcast and the reasoning of its participants is that the first amendment in facebooks eyes shouldn’t be the only consideration.
For me personally, I am close to what con law people call absolutist. The first amendment means what it says. However the first amendment says nothing about tv, radio and the internet (for obvious reasons). That’s where I am willing to extend my definition to be first amendment + Supreme Court precedent. This is the standard I view as the gold standard of individual liberty. I stopped using Facebook last January as an experiment / New Years resolution to focus my time more effectively but I would say after hearing the podcast, intellectual and well meaning as it was, the positions presented are completely incompatible with my view of individual liberty. I may decide this new year to simply deactivate my account altogether for this reason.
2) there is a growing trend of companies acting like governments. For ex, look at the surveillance powers created by nest/amazon. Look at the efforts to use private satellites for sub 1m resolution surveillance (formerly the only application was defense/intelligence related). And now look at Facebook and Twitter deciding on new rules for speech/content. Facebook’s Supreme Court is a way to manage the complex arguments for going beyond our own legal system. It is borne, in my opinion, both as an means to enact rules to curb individual liberty but also to subvert the existing expensive and lengthy process of taking something to the Supreme Court. And that’s just in the US ... never mind countries that don’t have the legal infrastructure to decide these issues.
In short, this is Facebook deciding it can hack / disrupt government. There’s no coincidence this is happening at the same time that it is introducing libra.
I am not a citizen of Facebook. I’m less than a citizen. I’m simply a physical embodiment of a life whose digital representation is owned and marketed by a private company. And now it wants to govern my digital representation’s speech and money. And I don’t single out Facebook. How long before I can subscribe to a private Nest police force?
Government is slow. Government is inefficient. Government is corrupt. As far as I’m concerned governments sole purpose is to protect my individual liberty. What is facebooks sole purpose?
How effective is that? Doesn't Facebook collects data on everyone's online behavior even if they don't have an account?
In theory, Facebook could figure out a way to have truly independent panel of experts than are non-partisan and aren't beholden to Facebook in any way, but I have no idea how they could do it in practice, and even if they did, it'd backfire on them very quickly as soon as that panel would make a decision that some activist group wouldn't like, as those activists would surely target Facebook and Facebook would have a choice to either annihilate the credibility of the panel by ignoring its decision or face the wrath of activists which the Facebook have proven many times in the past they can't withstand and will have to cave anyway.
So I really don't see any positive outcome here. Once you're in the censorship game, you're in the censorship game, with all that involves.
Some of the people replying to you are a bit...ich, but:
Why not give the funds to someone battle-tested and with a good reputation like John Gilmore to distribute for the purpose? Something can't be independent with as much Facebook control over it as the post implies.
As it stands, there is zero evidence of this. If Zuck is displeased with it, then he can just not contribute more once the initial money is used.
Also, I would really like to just see my activity feed from all my followed friends in straight up chronological order, with no filtering, dang it.
The way you all display stuff right now is obviously designed so you can sprinkle ads into the feed as if they were actual content. But I don't want to see ads. At all. Period.
Near as I can tell, the mainstream media has spent years telling conservatives that their voices are being silenced at a disproportionate rate by left-leaning Facebook employees. At the same time, they're telling liberals that Facebook is deliberately allowing the spread of disinformation to help more conservatives get elected. Almost as though someone wants the left and right united in their hated of social media.
The next step is obvious: pass laws to cripple the major social media companies and restore the mainstream media to its former position of unchallenged power.
Yes, quit attempting to police speech.
DRM on digital books, "renting" books on digital platforms, banned books by governments, banned books on shopping sites, religions sentencing and/or cursing the "unclean" reader, communists banning religious books....
Maybe this is something that you (=FB) should have given some thought before navigating yourself into that situation. Finding a solution for this is hardly anything that outsiders should have to do. Solve the mess yourself and better do it fast.
If people get harangued for showing up and mentioning their employer, that will only disincentivize them and others to participate on topics they know a lot about. That will make HN strictly worse.
Stop policing speech/thoughts/ideas/communication.
Nobody has asked facebook to be the arbiter of social-morality.
You at facebook are creating an echo chamber and driving dissenting voices away because they dont adhere to the 'woke' dogma.
You're taking all the monstrous ideas and pushing them outside. You're giving them no option but to aggregate + further radicalize each other.
This is why shit like 8chan has gotten so wretched.
Theres already WAY too much involvement + dogmatic oversight of 'moral right' by facebook.
Stop doing what you're doing and accept that if you're ACTUALLY interested in the mass-culture integration you claim you're working towards, banning + policing thoughts aren't the way towards that ends.
What actually needs to happen is for the bad to be extrema to be buffered though interaction w the socially normal beliefs.
What facebook is CURRENTLY doing is radicalizing groups.
Somehow zuck cant see this as the repressive puritanical system that it is.
Actually, I believe @unearthed acknowledged a problem, and asserted the best solution was to do nothing.
Because FBs take is so uninformed, its going to create greater social rifts.
LITERALLY contra to what its stated objectives are.
SO. WHY would zuck do this?
lip service to his employees.
Incorrect. Im saying the solution IS NOT the dogmatic oversight that facebook is pursuing here.
Instead the solution is:
"The droves of people using facebook are sufficiently large that an organic zeitgeist can emerge without interference"
Surely You're NOT suggesting:
"Yes we require the dogmatic, bureaucratic, oversight of speech to create harmony"
This is an open, legitimate debate. It's complicated with Facebook due to its lack of competition.
Companies moderating speech on their services is time tested and likely necessary. If the market presents a diversity of services, no one system of moderation gets a stranglehold on public discourse.
Facebook, however, is dominant. As a result, its decisions approach the breadth of government censorship. That's a fundamental disconnect they're trying to paper over.
Twitter, Reddit, Snapshat, Marco Polo...lots of competition in the social media space.
Is there a successful FB clone, a la Google+? No there is not. That does not mean FB somehow owns social media.
Not at FBs scale
Here's the thought experiment validating what Im claiming about driving out dissenting views:
Where do the ideas that are pushed out of facebook go?
Do you think they just go away? Absolutely not.
The problems is zuck is culturally beholden to his droves of socially 'woke' employees. Nor does Zuck strike anyone asa persona strong enough to do anything other than 'tow the line' of that narrative.
Socially, hes a lap-dog.
Which is why this 'Supreme Court' is being established. Homeboy cant shoulder the weight (in the court of public-opinion) of the moral judgements being made, so hes throwing $130 million so someone else's name sits at the top of that list.
IMO the only thing this is doing is creating monsters + pushing the work of social integration down the line. Its a bad short-term strategy.
Atop the list of problems here is that facebook loses oversight/engagement w the most dangerous of outside thought-leaders. Inadvertently, putting themselves in the dark.
The argument is that we have more violent extremists, not less, and they've been quite successful in using large public platforms to recruit and radicalize new members. The "organic zeitgeist" has had plenty of time to do its thing, and it really hasn't.
You're offering a straw man argument, by way of false dichotomy: kafkaesque hellscape vs total freedom happyland. It's not helpful to the conversation, imo, and doesn't actually engage with the issues at hand. It's polemics, not a solution.
2) You cite nothing substantiating these claims.
Leave it to a woke phd to misrepresent a claim to win an argument.
> total freedom happyland
No you dumb fuck.
Im saying that the process of people sorting out a collective, integrated social morality is going to be complex.
Where the fuck did I say it was going to be easy?
Yes, its a big deal. How long do you think the british people are going to put up with their daughters being raped and people being stabbed? Do you think that "acceptance" for Khans woke bullshit will continue into perpetuity? Do you think there's some really mean fucking people who are basting in anger + isolation because they've been pushing out of pleasant society?
Does such a thought seem plausible at all? What do you think happens before a coup of any kind? Someone capable sits it isolation + gets really fucking pissed off.
This is the problem with having discussions with arm-chain intellectuals in a space where they can behave with impunity.
You're happy to attempt to win an argument by misrepresenting my claims. The intelligencia of the bay area is absolutely reprehensible -- and I know, I live here with this bullshit.
Fuck, would I love to have these discussions face to face.
Lets sit down and get a coffee and chat over this shit and well see which of us is more capably evil.
If you don't want to be banned, you're welcome to email email@example.com and give us reason to believe that you'll follow the rules in the future.
This is critical advice for a lot of topics.
Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose.
I know there is a tendency to be consumed with your own importance combined with political heat, but the best course is to develop great filtering tools for users and “Let the people decide.”
If it was only Facebook, FB would accept any ad as long as someone is willing to pay to display it.
I hope what doesn't happen is that this turns into a way for Facebook to delay/confuse/distort how decisions are made, and ultimately give Facebook itself a way to shirk the blame.
If the org is not as competent as people wish it to be, the blame is somewhat insulated
Call me skeptical but that's not enough to distance yourself and set up a "fair" court. Facebook still has lots of influence and I doubt they'll recommend something that would truly hurt Facebook's bottom line.
For example: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/republicans-criticize-goog...
> President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and other Republican election groups criticized tech giant Google on Tuesday for making it harder for political advertisers to target specific types of people. The GOP groups said the changes will lead directly to suppressing voter turnout and would “disproportionately” hurt Republican candidates.
It's not shocking for Facebook to want to avoid worsening relations with people holding significant power to regulate them. No one really wants to be the subject of a Trump tweetstorm, either.
for social media platforms.
I'd certainly be less incredulous about this move were there answers to these inquiries.
There's little pragmatic leadership coming from the powers that be over this stuff - obviously there's a good deal of noise out of governments concerning 'fake news' - but I'd argue it's much more difficult than one would imagine given 100 different nations, different laws, lobbying power, even aside from the concerns over really deciding 'what is fake'. I think a lot of TV spots might reasonably fall under the category of 'not exactly factual' as well.
If there were reasonable, clean and coherent direction from US gov (probably not going to happen), it would be easier. A lot of the EU thinking/legislation I suggest mightn't be specifically nuanced enough as well.
I am not cynical about this announcement. I'd wager FB would be somewhere in the range of 'happy' to comply with a set of reasonable bits of legislation, especially if was applied universally and coherently. In the absence of anyone actually doing anything, they're going to set it up themselves.
Impartial? Hardly, but it's probably better than nothing.
$130M is not chump change, this is a big deal. Perhaps wit a change in governance maybe something will happen. (I'm not making a political statement other than to say the Trump regime will never do anything about this).
Absent any real collective movement on this issue ... I think this is a positive step. It's better than the status quo.
Actually, it sounds an awful lot like "damned if you don't, damned if you pretend you do to keep not doing it".
Just imagine if technology companies had to adhere to publishing standard like broadcasters and journalists do, because of regulations. All that money from conspiracy theory political ads targeting niche social groups would evaporate. Social media platforms would be far less political influence.
Imagine being so oppressed that your ego feels the need to down-vote this comment :(
2. > Imagine being so oppressed that your ego feels the need to down-vote this comment :(
I don't have the ability to downvote replies. I notice too that your comment has not been edited, so you must have written it at the same time you originally posted before anyone could have upvoted or downvoted you. Why don't you do a quick edit, for appearances sake...