Published: Sat, November 17, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Facebook's Use Of Smear Merchants Is The Norm, Not The Exception

Facebook's Use Of Smear Merchants Is The Norm, Not The Exception

Facebook, amidst a battle to survive an onslaught of scandals in the past two years, hired a Republican opposition research firm to discredit protestors of the platform in part by tying them to George Soros, according to a New York Times report.

In the blog post Thursday, Facebook said there were "a number of innacuracies" in the article and said that while it did hire Definers to look into who funded an anti-Facebook group, "To suggest that this was an anti-Semitic attack is reprehensible and untrue".

As late as this summer, the firm was circulating documents that fingered Soros as "the unacknowledged force behind what appeared to be a broad anti-Facebook movement", the paper said. "The intention was to demonstrate that it was not simply a spontaneous grassroots campaign, as it claimed, but supported by a well-known critic of our company".

The war room is part of stepped up security announced by Facebook, which will be adding some 20,000 employees. If you're not aware of what I'm talking about, please read this deep and intricate report by the New York Times. But at bottom, this is not about George Soros or the foundations. "I'm not going to know what every single person here is doing".

The company plans to create an independent body that will review appeals of decisions to take down content, after a "consultation period" to determine how it should work.

However, an analyst for the financial services company Morgan Stanley has said that Apple's caution in regard to production rate and sales figures has hit the stock price harder than it should have, and that investors should continue to trade optimistically in the tech giant.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigns over Gaza ceasefire
The groups, including Hamas, issued a joint statement saying they would abide by the ceasefire as long as Israel did the same. Palestinians in Gaza faced widespread destruction after the Israeli military targeted 160 sites.

The board of directors issued a statement backing the efforts of Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg in responding to influence campaigns.

The report claims the company hired a PR firm to shift negative media attention onto rival tech companies, had prior knowledge of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and told its management team members to boycott their iPhones after Apple boss Tim Cook made a disparaging remark about the platform.

On Russia, Zuckerberg announced in the fall of 2016 that it was insane to think Facebook had been utilized to enable Donald To trump win the USA administration, yet the report said in-house specialists knew this not to be the situation. "But to suggest that they knew about Russian interference and either tried to ignore it or prevent investigations into what had happened is grossly unfair". While it is disclosing how many violations it is catching, the company said it can't always reliably measure how prevalent these things are on Facebook overall.

"The entire discussion around Facebook's disclosures of what happened in 2016 is very frustrating". Sandberg also said that she has "great respect" for billionaire George Soros, who The New York Times reported was targeted by Definers in research sent to reporters. Facebook also reportedly sought to convince the Jewish civil rights group Anti-Defamation League to characterize criticism of the company as anti-Semitic.

The Open Society Foundation founded by Soros meanwhile called for an independent probe of Facebook's tactics.

Facebook revealed a detailed report of its efforts to delete harmful content, its first major report since May.

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