Facebook Security Chief Lashes Out: “Censorship Is Easy If You Don’t Worry About Becoming The Ministry Of Truth”
In a furious tweetstorm this weekend, Facebook’s Chief Security Officer warned interfering desperate politicians and triggered letfists that the fake news problem is more complicated and dangerous to solve than the public thinks.
As a reminder, we noted that Alex Stamos was seemingly pressured into ‘finding’ Russian evidence after Senator Mark Warner paid the social media company a visit –
A few weeks after the French election, Warner flew out to California to visit Facebook in person. It was an opportunity for the senator to press Stamos directly on whether the Russians had used the company’s tools to disseminate anti-Clinton ads to key districts.
Officials said Stamos underlined to Warner the magnitude of the challenge Facebook faced policing political content that looked legitimate.
Stamos told Warner that Facebook had found no accounts that used advertising but agreed with the senator that some probably existed. The difficulty for Facebook was finding them.
For months, a team of engineers at Facebook had been searching through accounts, looking for signs that they were set up by operatives working on behalf of the Kremlin. The task was immense.
Warner’s visit spurred the company to make some changes in how it conducted its internal investigation. Instead of searching through impossibly large batches of data, Facebook decided to focus on a subset of political ads.
Technicians then searched for “indicators” that would link those ads to Russia. To narrow down the search further, Facebook zeroed in on a Russian entity known as the Internet Research Agency, which had been publicly identified as a troll farm.
“They worked backwards,” a U.S. official said of the process at Facebook.
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