Elizabeth Warren's Feud With Facebook Over 'False' Ads Just Highlights The Impossibility Of Content Moderation At Scale

from the damned-if-you-do dept

You may have heard over the past few days about a bit of a feud between Presidential candidates -- mainly Elizabeth Warren -- and Facebook about how the company handles political ads with false information. It began a week or so ago when the Trump campaign started running a bunch of Facebook ads around impeachment, some of which were blatantly false, based on totally debunked claims. Facebook, however, just recently clarified its policy, noting that while it will block ads that its partner fact-checkers have determined to be untrue, that does not apply directly to political candidate ads themselves:

We rely on third-party fact-checkers to help reduce the spread of false news and other types of viral misinformation, like memes or manipulated photos and videos. We don’t believe, however, that it’s an appropriate role for us to referee political debates and prevent a politician’s speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny. That’s why Facebook exempts politicians from our third-party fact-checking program. We have had this policy on the books for over a year now, posted publicly on our site under our eligibility guidelines. This means that we will not send organic content or ads from politicians to our third-party fact-checking partners for review.

In response to this, Warren decided to hit back by deliberately posting a "false" ad to call out Facebook's policy (in this case, her ad declared that "Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook just endorsed Donald Trump for re-election." The ad then calls out Facebook's policy and attacks the company for its stance. Here's how it read:

Breaking News: Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook just endorsed Donald Trump for re-election.

You're probably shocked, and you might be thinking, "how could this possibly be true?"

Well, it's not. (Sorry.) But what Zuckerberg *has* done is given Donald Trump free rein to lie on his platform -- and then to pay Facebook gobs of money to push out their lies to American voters.

If Trump tries to lie in a TV ad, most networks will refuse to air it. But Facebook just cashes Trump's checks.

Facebook already helped elect Donald Trump once. Now, they're deliberately allowing a candidate to intentionally lie to the American people. It's time to hold Mark Zuckerberg accountable—add your name if you agree.

Except... it turns out that the latter part of Warren's "fake news ad" -- the part which she presents as truthful -- is actually false as well. As Facebook itself noted in a tweet (yes, in a tweet, from Facebook) directed at Warren, Trump is airing TV commercials with the same debunked claims in them on TV stations, and it's one of the most viewed ads:

In other words, the central claim from Warren's campaign -- that other providers, such as TV stations, would not allow such blatant lies in ads -- is pretty clearly untrue. And while some are arguing that Facebook pointing this out "backfired spectacularly", it didn't. It is true that Warren is now claiming that Facebook's argument supports her point, but I don't see that at all.

If anything, it shows the damned if you do/damned if you don't nature of content moderation.

Let's take a second to remember that it was just a few months ago that Warren got really angry at Facebook for temporarily blocking one of her ads. And that time Warren responded by arguing that Facebook should not be able to "shut down a debate" over a political topic. And, yet, in this case, when they won't shut down Trump's posts, suddenly she's mad about that too?

As Julian Sanchez rightly points out, no matter which way Facebook goes, it's going to get yelled at.

And this is the point that lots of us have been trying to make regarding Facebook and content moderation. If you're screaming about all the wrong choices you think it makes to leave stuff up, recognize that you're also going to pretty pissed off when the company also decides to take stuff down that you think should be left up.

Now, there is a consistent way to interpret Warren's position -- which is that in either case, Facebook is "too big" because (as she suggested earlier this year) it can "shut down" the debate on this topic. Except, that's also pretty obviously bullshit, because much of this debate actually happened... on Twitter. And also across lots and lots of media sites.

There are good reasons to be worried about Facebook's market position. There are good reasons to be concerned about the amount of lies that get flung around by political campaigns. But this whole debate over lies in ads is not a Facebook problem. If you want to get at the fact that politicians will lie, well, then you're going to need to take that up with the 1st Amendment. Blaming Facebook for taking the reasonable stance that it doesn't want to be the one directly judging whether or not a politician is being truthful is silly. If it had to review every single political ad for truthfulness, I doubt Elizabeth Warren would be very happy about it either. Hell, part of the problem is that "truth" is not an exact standard either. Some things are misleading, but "technically" true. Some things could count as "little white lies." Some could be blatant falsehoods. But where anything falls is often a matter of opinion, and Warren should actually be happy that Facebook is refraining from making a judgment call on the truthiness of political ads.

Filed Under: advertising, campaign ads, content moderation, content moderation at scale, donald trump, elizabeth warren, truth
Companies: facebook


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 9:42am

    Forming as we read this, the party of political hopefuls. They stand no chance of being elected, but they can say what they like on social media because they are all trying to get elected.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 9:51am

    I am a candidate for the Prince of Nigeria...

    I have a very persuading message for you, your government lies to you on a daily basis.

    You are all cattle in the financial machine that is the American political system, that's designed to provide the 'belief' that individuals have choice, while in reality putting one of the 2 biggest narcissistic, masochistic, sociopathic, liars into power in order to promote the desires of the largest corporations on the planet (the real source of 'power' in the US).

    It doesn't matter what your vote is, we have already rigged the system so no matter who you vote for (or if you don't vote, we don't care), our top corporate choice will be elected to further the greed of the American Corporations (mainly driven by Telecom, ISP's, social networks, and music and movies, gotta give the **AA's some credit for getting things to the point we can exploit them the way we are, years of ratcheting has moved the bar so high that we can just walk under it and take power).

    No, I'm not lying to you, and I have a great opportunity for you the individual to take back some of the power, I just need you to hold on to this corporate backed check in your bank account, while sending me 1/2 of the amount, keeping whatever is left in your account (after we get done draining it) when we are done with the process ;)

    Then all your bases are belonging to us...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 10:01am

    Most of the commenters on this site, for most of 2017-2019 believed Donald Trump was a Russian plant. Even now, I'm sure many of you still do. Do we really want anyone besides ourselves deciding what the truth is?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 10:07am

    Re:

    [Citation needed]

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 10:11am

    But where anything falls is often a matter of opinion

    Just to add some context to this point, the impetus of this debate was a statement about Biden negotiating a deal with Ukraine in which (among other things) Ukraine agreed to fire a prosecutor in exchange for financial aid from the US.

    The controversy surrounding this deal was that this same prosecutor was involved in an investigation of a company associated with Biden's son. There is no evidence that any part of this deal was (in any way) influenced by the legal troubles of the company or the son's involvement. In the political field, that would qualify as "not a conflict of interest" because the reasons the US sought to remove the prosecutor were unrelated to Biden or his son. That is, since the outcome would have been the same regardless of the presence of Biden, there were no ethical issues with him negotiating the deal.

    In the scientific field, however, a conflict of interest is determined to exist regardless of whether or not it has an effect on the outcome. That conflict of interest must be reported and (to the extent possible) mitigated or removed, (though of course this doesn't always happen). More serious conflicts of interest result in independent oversight of all activities, forced severing of the relationship and/or removal of the scientist from the project entirely. If this scenario was governed by the ethical standards of the scientific field instead of the political field, Biden would have been obligated to "recuse" himself from the negotiations entirely. If he did not do so, Trump's statement about Biden would be treated as substantially true, if lacking in context.

    That is, the "truth" of the Trump ad is entirely dependent on how exactly conflicts of interest are defined, and that definition differs substantially among different groups of people....in other words, it is an opinion.

    (Note: Biden's recusal is based on the reality that many other members of the US government/State department had no ties to Ukraine and were both willing and able to perform those tasks. If substitutions are not readily available (most often the case in academia), they can continue the work as long as the conflicts of interest are clearly described, though many will still take their conclusions with a grain of salt depending on the nature of the conflict and the resulting conclusions).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    radix (profile), 15 Oct 2019 @ 10:14am

    Hard factual claims can be hard enough to judge in many cases, but politicians only become successful when they have the ability to speak out of both sides of their mouths. Every claim is full of half-truths, opinions, and spin that could be considered truthful from a certain point of view. Giving any government regulatory organization the power to make those judgments is stupid, dangerous, and antithetical to American values.

    Given that political bluster is often played up just to get people to the polls, it's hard to say how much of this 1st Amendment antagonism is really what she believes vs what she thinks she has to say to win. That said, even the more charitable interpretation is still normalizing direct attacks on discourse in America, and that should never be glossed over.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), 15 Oct 2019 @ 10:17am

    Re:

    This comment is interesting. Its conclusion asks a question that seems to argue a similar conclusion to the article, and its framing suggests it is a contrasting response to something. The first sentence therefore establishes the something being a purported Techdirt audience. But as this comment is not in response to any other commentor, it then appears the comment is therefore in response to the article and Techdirt, thereby suggesting that Techdirt is asserting that Facebook should be an arbiter of Fact, something Techdirt did not express. Techdirt raises the same question as in the conclusion, so why post this comment?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 15 Oct 2019 @ 10:18am

    Re:

    And by "ourselves" you meam Fox, Breitbart, and Sputnik.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Pixelation, 15 Oct 2019 @ 10:24am

    Note to Elizabeth Warren

    You will need to run your own ads that are...less than truthful...about trump. You could point out how he paid to have sexual abuse claims disappear, how he has colluded to rig an election. Oh wait, those are all true. Well, come up with something to add to it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    bob, 15 Oct 2019 @ 10:24am

    Re:

    I think that Trump ran because he didn't really think he would win but that he could still profit handsomely off the campaign finance contributions. Then when he became the party nominee he still didnt believe he would win but he decided to milk the situation for more.
    But when he actually won, first, he was surprised his con worked but then wanted to see how long the money train could last. After a while he decided he liked the power and that he didnt want to give it up.

    Even if he wasn't put in power because of Russia he still covets what Putin has going in Russia. And he has made many bad decisions that will have far reaching negative consequences for the USA and people that depended on the US government for help.

    He should never have been elected but too many people disliked Hillary more. It truly is sad that political parties let either candidate run for the presidency. There was no good choice from the major parties for the voters in 2016.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 10:36am

    Re:

    Trump has historically taken the most "liberal" interpretation of conflict of interest available, based on how he handles conflicts of interest regarding his properties by having his family manage them. To suddenly use a far stricter interpretation would be the height of hypocrisy (a place Trump is very familiar with, heard he's trying to build a condo there).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Comboman, 15 Oct 2019 @ 10:54am

    Ads are not "At Scale"

    Content moderation doesn't work at scale for things like posts and tweets and comments and whatever. But ads are NOT "at scale". Actual human beings are involved, not just bots. They were fast enough to take down Warren's ad for use of a logo that violated their policies. Allowing false and misleading political ads is a failure of Facebook's ethics, not their technology.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    Gary (profile), 15 Oct 2019 @ 11:04am

    Re: Ads are not "At Scale"

    So what is the "right" policy? Take down El Cheetos ads and interfere with his campaign lies - and start vetting all political adds for your version of correct?

    Or leave them all up and take flak for promoting falsehoods?

    You seem to have the easy answer - Better Ethics. Somehow that would block all political ads, and most consumer goods as well I imagine.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 11:07am

    Re: Ads are not "At Scale"

    I think you underestimate how online advertising works. It's basically all automated. There isn't a room of individuals sitting around approving or disapproving every ad submitted for display. People only get involved if something gets reported.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    ECA (profile), 15 Oct 2019 @ 11:26am

    WHO WANTS THE JOB???

    Who here or anywhere would like a job as FACT checker for Politics among....About 100-1000 people running for president??

    Raise your hand..
    BANG, BANG BANG BANG BANG...(or any other sound of people yelling/screaming/declaring you WRONG, even thos you have them recorded with Full facial features and in Their own writing)

    NEXT..

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    bobob, 15 Oct 2019 @ 11:34am

    Perhaps the entire idea of social media as it exists is flawed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 11:45am

    Re: Ads are not "At Scale"

    The problem here is not Facebooks ethics, but rather politicians ethics. Just how much moderation would politicians stand before they passed a law to say that there adverts cannot be moderated?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 11:52am

    Re:

    Bit early to be drinking and commenting there Ivan.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    A Guy, 15 Oct 2019 @ 12:19pm

    Warren and Facebook

    Warren claimed facebook has to uphold our democracy in one of her ads recently. (It may not have been an ad but I think it was because it was on a site that mixes ads and organic content and appeared to me to be an ad.)

    First, I wouldn't even trust facebook with an account due to the fact that every time they promise not to monetize their users in some privacy-abandoning way it really means "we'll do it a few months, we hadn't thought of it yet." (The rest of my family likes facebook.)

    Second, anyone who tries to put facebook in charge of upholding our democracy ought to be fired from any position that is actually supposed to require "upholding our democracy". It's like putting Amway or Bernie Madoff in charge of the ftc (they have both sworn that any resemblance between themselves and a ponzi scheme is an illusion before)

    I have no strong opinion on the break-up-facebook issue because I haven't seen evidence the competitors likely to fill the facebook void will likely be a lot better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 12:54pm

    In related news ...
    Zuckerberg has been having meetings with Tucker Carlson and Lindsey Graham.

    "Meeting new people and hearing from a wide range of viewpoints is part of learning," Zuckerberg added. "If you haven't tried it, I suggest you do!"

    https://thehill.com/policy/technology/465746-zuckerberg-defends-meetings-with-conservative -politicians-pundits

    • I have been hearing a lot of things from the GOP for a long time now and I would not categorize them as anything close to wide ranging or having any learning potential.
    • Could it be that Zucky is looking at a political career? Oh boy

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Warren and Facebook

    "Warren claimed facebook has to uphold our democracy in one of her ads recently. (It may not have been an ad but I think it was because it was on a site that mixes ads and organic content and appeared to me to be an ad.)"

    • But you have no link. Was it one of her fake FB ads?

    "I wouldn't even trust facebook with an account due to "

    • Bravo

    "anyone who tries to put facebook in charge of upholding our democracy "

    • Not sure who you are addressing here but it cant be Warren can it??? Of course you have a link to where she said this.

    Q: Do you think FB should treat politicians differently than the common people? If so, why? Please give examples as that can deter common misunderstandings.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    bob, 15 Oct 2019 @ 1:23pm

    Re:

    More likely the social media as it currently utilized and relied upon is flawed. Having a space to chat, share, explore, and learn about people and cultures is good to have. However I don't think when stuff like Facebook and Twitter were developed anyone predicted how people would end up using those services today. Sure they might have had an inkling that groups would pervert social media platforms but not how extensively the platforms are integrated into everyday life.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    bob, 15 Oct 2019 @ 1:26pm

    Re:

    More likely he's just trying to get more people to use the service so he can make more money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re:

    afaik, more people are leaving than not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    A Guy, 15 Oct 2019 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: Warren and Facebook

    Ugghh I was up too long taking care of my sick old black lab last night so small details of that post were slightly mis-remembered.

    BoingBoing runs ads alongside organic content and I have seen Warren2020 ads on it but this one didn't specifically look like an ad upon review. Here's a link.

    I was planning to show you the exact "Warren 2020" boingboing entry I was referring to but fucking google starting calling me a bot and keeps giving me captcha screens for using inurl: searches that I used to use almost every day for years. I then fired up tor because that usually solves the google captcha issue but it didn't this time. The annoyance then prompted me to permanently uninstall Chrome and I'm considering throwing out my android phone.

    In the middle of that I had to carry my giant black lab up and down the stairs because he's too old to safely navigate the stairs anymore due to age after he returned from the vet.

    The "repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy" comment by Warren was the one I was criticizing.

    I literally believe that facebook as a non-elected non-governmental entity has the same legal obligations to protect US democracy as foxnews, msnbc or even the american-nazi-party, all of which are legal. People shouldn't confuse facebook with something that's required to protect our democracy in any real sense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 15 Oct 2019 @ 3:02pm

    'Lies are bad. Unless they are in political ads.'

    It began a week or so ago when the Trump campaign started running a bunch of Facebook ads around impeachment, some of which were blatantly false, based on totally debunked claims. Facebook, however, just recently clarified its policy, noting that while it will block ads that its partner fact-checkers have determined to be untrue, that does not apply directly to political candidate ads themselves

    This is... complex. She's correct in that if Facebook is going to put in place a policy to block ads that contain false information it really should apply to all ads, including political ones, yet at the same time the idea of Facebook(or any company with a potential profit angle really) being in that position is one that I'm decidedly leery of.

    While I've no doubt the article is correct in that Facebook is in a 'damned if you don't, damned if you do' situation with stuff like this if they are going to have policies like this in place they either need to apply them equally or ditch them entirely, as a policy with gaping holes in it like that just makes the company look worse in that they care about making sure people aren't using the ads on their platform to lie to people... unless the one lying is a politician.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 15 Oct 2019 @ 3:36pm

    Go all in or don't bother

    So what is the "right" policy? Take down El Cheetos ads and interfere with his campaign lies - and start vetting all political adds for your version of correct?

    If they're going to use a third-party to fact check ads(and if they're going to do that it had better be as unbiased as possible), and they're going to put in place a policy where ads found to contain false information/flat out lies by that third party don't get to use Facebook's ad system, then apply the policy equally, including for political ads.

    If Facebook is going to put in place a policy that prohibits lying via ads on their platform then it shouldn't matter who is doing the lying, merely that it's being done. It would involve extra work but a 'here's the evidence we used to explain why we rejected this ad' section would probably help them defend their choices and help with transparency.

    Does this leave them open to accusations of bias and giving preferential treatment by those that aren't happy with how they apply the policy? Absolutely. However recent history shows they're going to face those accusations no matter what they do, so the best they can do if they choose to roll out a policy like this is to try to be as impartial as possible with it to at least make it somewhat harder for accusations of bias to stick.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. icon
    Wyrm (profile), 15 Oct 2019 @ 3:58pm

    1. Warren should decide on a stance. Should FB police its ads or not? Either stance has pros and cons, but this should definitely be decided consistently. No exception to oneself, just because "but I'm lying for a good cause". And if you argue for moderation (as I would), you have to tolerate some level of mistake.

    2. Whatever you think of the question above, I think "being a politician" is an easy way out of being fact-checked. At a minimum, I think they should run the ad through their fact-checker, let the ad run, but append a disclaimer that the ad was found dubious. Let the watcher decide after seeing the ad and the fact-check.

    3. Actually, I'm not sure point 2 above would help because too many people decide that someone "obviously" tells the truth because they are on the same "team" or as "obviously" lies because they are on opposite "teams"... Politics has because a team-sport instead of a governance matter.

    4. Why does America seem to hold people in power to a lower standard of honesty and ethics than the common citizen? In this specific case, why is FB excepting politicians of all people to lie as much as they want without anything to balance the lies? They are among the ones whose lies would have the broadest impact on the watcher... That's really an upside-down world here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. icon
    Gary (profile), 15 Oct 2019 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Go all in or don't bother

    Does this leave them open to accusations of bias and giving preferential treatment by those that aren't happy with how they apply the policy?

    Considering the immediate backlash they'd face for "De-platorming Our God" I doubt they have the backbone to do that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 15 Oct 2019 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Re: Go all in or don't bother

    Sure, but they're already being ripped apart by both sides as it is, and that's where the 'here's why we rejected the ad' bit would come into play as if they're already being accused of bias then at least they'd have something to defend themselves with if they were to lay out clearly and transparently why they made the choice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 5:32pm

    I'm permabanned from 4chan. How is it that they can do it?

    I made two threads in a row on /b that immediately got a few million hits, and drew attention to 4chan from regular people (reddit, discus, the true crime) and they quietly banned my ISP's entire class B network. They already seek out and ban all VPN services. I literally have to come in from an ancient Panamanian shell account now using ssh tunnels. It's work. I hate work.

    Content moderation is easy. Just, SOME COMPANY wants to be able to make the argument that it's hard during their inevitable anti-trust hearing. And that's an impossible argument to make because it's ridiculous nonsense. So their only hope is to cheat and try to make nonsense reality by having some websites do the sames story over and over again once a week for three years.
    (check if you think I'm kidding)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. icon
    Zof (profile), 15 Oct 2019 @ 5:46pm

    Re: I'm permabanned from 4chan. How is it that they can do it?

    I've worked for folks that ban ranges. What I used to do when we had a very aggressive hater is just call up the NOC for the network provider. And I'm talking, this was standard practice in 1999. I'd call up the NOC and say "Hey, we got this guy of yours. He keeps making creepy posts. He's on this IP address. Can you just make sure he keeps it?" if they wont' do that. "Well, then can you tell me his address pool? We'll block the entire thing. I'd rather not block your entire assigned netblock". Typically they play ball and nail his IP for you. They tie it to your endpoint device instead of your MAC address. So you always get provisioned with the same IP. Grandfather's Invisible Catchall Shield didn't magically disappear because the Internet came along. NOC's all made friends with each other. We knew exactly who you were when you thought you were Fantomas on USENET, or super sneaky on EfNET.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. identicon
    A Guy, 15 Oct 2019 @ 5:48pm

    Re: I'm permabanned from 4chan. How is it that they can do it?

    1. If you think you're perma-banned from nearly anything you didn't try very hard.

    2. If that kind of content moderation became a legal mandate or was even strongly suggested by the government it would be thrown out on first amendment grounds.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    A Guy, 15 Oct 2019 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: I'm permabanned from 4chan. How is it that they can do i

    I'm supposedly perma-banned from certain things that also extensively block ip ranges. The real ban didn't even last a day before I worked around it but I stopped going to the site because I decided they are douche bags.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. icon
    Zof (profile), 15 Oct 2019 @ 5:53pm

    Re: Re: I'm permabanned from 4chan. How is it that they can do i

    The market provides.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Zof (profile), 15 Oct 2019 @ 5:56pm

    Re:

    So if I become a political candidate legally, I can make an advertisement claiming I'm a Sunperson from the Sun, that's what identify as, and that I'm running for some other office that doesn't exist, and I can wear ridiculous clothing and do a youtube video with street musicians, and they can't delete it? And if I start a gofundme to fund it getting played on facebook and just dump millions of millennial dollars into it, that's all legal?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Zof (profile), 15 Oct 2019 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Re:

    please kids try this at home. I'm trying to help.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 7:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Warren and Facebook

    and then your browser froze and the computer quit?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 7:56pm

    Re: 'Lies are bad. Unless they are in political ads.'

    "if Facebook is going to put in place a policy to block ads that contain false information it really should apply to all ads, including political ones"

    We sure do coddle our politicians don't we?
    Poor babies .. you wanna lie about that?
    Huh? Awwwww how cute.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. identicon
    A Guy, 15 Oct 2019 @ 9:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Warren and Facebook

    Not yet, but I'm sure they will eventually... Okay TorBrowser actually did freeze and for some reason has stopped initializing properly while the internet is connected but the computer didn't quit. It's probably either a malware issue or firewall issue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2019 @ 11:44pm

    Is she a native Indian or was that fake news she was spreading?

    "Breaking News: Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook just endorsed Donald Trump for re-election."

    I wonder how many people read past that sentence?

    "...broadcast stations across the country have aired this ad nearly 1,000 times..."

    Confirmed, she is still a liar

    Sanders for Prez

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. icon
    PaulT (profile), 16 Oct 2019 @ 2:15am

    Re: Ads are not "At Scale"

    "Actual human beings are involved, not just bots"

    I'd love to see your evidence for this, as it contradicts a lot of known things.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. icon
    PaulT (profile), 16 Oct 2019 @ 2:19am

    Re: I'm permabanned from 4chan. How is it that they can do it?

    So... you're saying that content moderation is easy because it's possible to ban entire ISPs from the site?

    That doesn't work with most business models.

    "It's work. I hate work."

    Have you ever tried . not using 4Chan and going to communities that want you there instead?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Oct 2019 @ 3:26am

    Re: Re:

    Depending on any government for help is an incredibly bad idea; they don't care and won't provide meaningful help unless there's something in it for them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2019 @ 4:17am

    The real problem with the policy is not in allowing or forbidding lying in general, but in the double standard of allowing some people to lie while forbidding others.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Oct 2019 @ 5:22am

    Re: Re: Ads are not "At Scale"

    So what is the "right" policy? Take down El Cheetos ads and interfere with his campaign lies - and start vetting all political adds for your version of correct?

    A statement is either demonstrably true or it is not; e.g. "Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden in order to hinder Joe Biden's presidential campaign. This is illegal."

    There are no "versions" of true; statements are either true or they are not. They can also be spun or twisted but a right to lie? I think not. You can't get away with claiming that smoking tobacco enhances your health -- well, not any more. Over here in the UK, ads need to be legal, decent, honest and truthful. If they're not, they're pulled.

    Or leave them all up and take flak for promoting falsehoods?

    I daresay that if leaving lies up is so contentious, why not use a marker or interstitial of some kind that advises the truth and lies in the ads where lies are present.

    You seem to have the easy answer - Better Ethics. Somehow that would block all political ads, and most consumer goods as well I imagine.

    Nope. We have loads of ads here in the UK. The political ones are called "Party political broadcasts" and they're actually mini programmes -- they're stored on the Catchup services of our major broadcasters. Are Americans so swamped in lies that all political and commercial ads would be blocked if their promoters all stopped lying tomorrow? Good grief, just hand the country back to the UK and apologise for the state it's in. Since it's nigh impossible to tell the difference between our Conservative Party and the GOP I doubt that anyone would notice a difference -- bar the accents of your Glorious Leaders.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Oct 2019 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re: Go all in or don't bother

    On this we agree, Gary.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Oct 2019 @ 5:26am

    Re: Re: Ads are not "At Scale"

    Yes, but someone puts the ads together. And someone accepts them for use on the platform -- and checks that they're up to standard, otherwise we'd be swamped with advertising for porn on every outlet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Oct 2019 @ 5:27am

    Re: Re: Ads are not "At Scale"

    If the major social networks start moderating for falsehoods, they'll have to in order to be seen to be compliant. I can imagine Kamala Harris grandstanding all over it. Ms. Warren, too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50. icon
    PaulT (profile), 16 Oct 2019 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Ads are not "At Scale"

    "someone accepts them for use on the platform -- and checks that they're up to standard"

    I doubt very much that this happens with every ad provider. If it did, people wouldn't be needing ad blockers to stop malware.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Oct 2019 @ 5:47am

    Re: Re: 'Lies are bad. Unless they are in political ads.'

    Yep. And that is the problem. We The People are ill equipped to parse lies from truth in social media -- it's easier to rely on sources you know to be mostly true most of the time, and I confess that's where I'm at.

    Having all ads, political or not, fact-checked alongside a campaign advising that there is no right to tell lies and broadcast them would force the ad makers and their clients to be more truthful in their advertising in order to ensure the ads are accepted. This can only be a good thing. A message to all would-be ad placers such as, "This is our platform and you publish ads here at our sole discretion. We will take your ads on condition that they're legal, decent, honest and truthful. We reserve the right to fact-check each ad you submit to ensure they are compliant with our guidelines. Their findings will be notified to you if they fail to meet our standards." would help to get the message across if coupled with vigorous enforcement. Any pushback could be countered by posting the fact-check report and the complaint. Shaming might not work but enforcement would.

    This would go a long way towards encouraging people to think about what they're being told and would therefore be an overall win for all of us down the line.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Oct 2019 @ 5:50am

    Re: Re: I'm permabanned from 4chan. How is it that they can do i

    What the frickin' 'ell do you have to do to be banned at all from 4Chan?! There is evil there that does not sleep. The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2019 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Warren and Facebook

    Do you get tired of posting your same old story every day?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2019 @ 6:48am

    Re:

    Rather than address whether FB should "police" ads that show up on their site ... perhaps a better approach would be to address the act of deception seen pretty much everywhere, not just on FB.

    There used to be truth in advertising laws but even those, I think, had exceptions for politics and religion.

    Lies in advertising and politics has sort of become an accepted practice resulting in a populace in which the young and gullible are the only ones who believe the bullshit.

    If the "leaders" really want honesty, morals and ethics in society then they should be leading by example. Show us all how it is done, please.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2019 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re: Re: I'm permabanned from 4chan. How is it that they can

    I'm perma frost

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2019 @ 6:57am

    Re:

    Native American heritage is something to hide?
    She has absolutely no native american in her family tree?
    Inquiring minds want to know.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 16 Oct 2019 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Ads are not "At Scale"

    Given that some ad providers actually put the malware in, I'm not surprised. I'm talking about the actual platforms on which these are aired. Let's assume they don't check for malware, just for visible content. If that's true, the ads are checked in some way, shape, or form.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58. icon
    PaulT (profile), 16 Oct 2019 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ads are not "At Scale"

    "I'm talking about the actual platforms on which these are aired"

    For a platform the size of Facebook that supply their own ads, maybe, but a lot of sites who use 3rd party ad providers never see the ads which run on their site, they just have agreements that the ad provider will keep them relevant. Then, the ad provider will have different agreements with different sites as to what's appropriate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59. identicon
    Comboman, 16 Oct 2019 @ 8:11am

    Here's the proof

    Just go to Facebook's own website and read about buying ads. For a small, local business ad it might be somewhat automated, but for a big client like a corporation or political party, you have your own FB account representative (i.e. salesperson).

    https://www.facebook.com/business/help/518993728299293?id=842420845959022

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 16 Oct 2019 @ 9:19am

    Re:

    The whole "fauxcahontas" gambit was a trumped-up smear campaign only brought up as some sort of "gotcha" by corrupt political opponents (like Shiva Ayyadurai, who implored people not to vote for the "lying Indian" and they overwhelmingly obliged.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61. icon
    nasch (profile), 16 Oct 2019 @ 10:24am

    Re:

    The controversy surrounding this deal was that this same prosecutor was involved in an investigation of a company associated with Biden's son.

    Except that the US was pressuring Ukraine to remove this prosecutor for not prosecuting corruption cases. The controversy is entirely fabricated.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62. identicon
    A Guy, 16 Oct 2019 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Warren and Facebook

    Do you get tired of being a hostile troll?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2019 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re:

    "In February 2019, Warren apologized for having identified as Native American.[129][132][133]"
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Warren

    Is wikipedia smearing her?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64. icon
    Ron Currier (profile), 16 Oct 2019 @ 11:50am

    Why not simply put a disclaimer on ALL political ads. Something like "Any claims made in this post are the opinions of the poster and should not be assumed to be truths or lies". But would anyone actually pay attention to this or would the disclaimer quickly become like the third brake light on cars.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2019 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Re:

    "Native American heritage is something to hide?"

    When you don't have any, you shouldn't claim to be one, yes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66. identicon
    A Guy, 16 Oct 2019 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I would guess she probably does have native American heritage based on her statements but it's minuscule (like me). It is less than 1% of my genealogy so claiming to be a native American may be a bit of a stretch. If you decide any amount is fine, then native Americans with a much larger native American heritage might not really welcome you into their "tribe".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67. icon
    PaulT (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 12:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, they're stating a fact - that after repeated attacks from the right in the desperate hope of smearing her, she issued an apology in the hope they'd stop that stupid crap and deal with something substantial. They didn't, but you can hardly blame her for wanting the conversation to move toward the adult arena.

    You'd know that if you read the whole thing rather than cherry picking the later part of the story you can use as false equivalence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    LOL

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Okay. My eyes have quit watering from laughing so hard.

    Citation? Either of you? Haven't seen one yet. Did you see mine?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70. icon
    PaulT (profile), 18 Oct 2019 @ 12:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Did you see mine?"

    The one I that directly referenced and told you to read the whole thing and not just the part that fit your narrative? Erm, yes...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2019 @ 3:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "In 1984,[126][127] Warren contributed recipes to a Native American cookbook and identified herself as Cherokee."

    That part from the same page linked above? I don't think it says what you think it says.

    If that isn't the part to which you are referring, how about a direct quote so we can Ctrl+F it, the same way you can with my claims.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72. icon
    PaulT (profile), 18 Oct 2019 @ 4:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your claim was that Wikipedia was smearing her by accurately stating what happened, which is silly. I'm not sure you expect the part you just quoted to prove.

    In terms of Warren's story, all that's happened is that Warren was proud of her family history as told to her by her grandmother, which because a target for Republicans unable to address her actual policies, so she issued an apology hoping to move toward adult conversation rather than identity politics. This is backed up by everything stated in the Wikipedia article.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2019 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't think I claimed what you say I claimed.

    No cite yet?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2019 @ 12:18am

    Re: Re:

    [Asserts facts not in evidence]

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75. icon
    PaulT (profile), 23 Oct 2019 @ 1:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I have to cite what you wrote in the thread a couple of posts up from mine?

    Yeah, somehow I don't think honest discourse is your aim here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2019 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, you can cite the article saying it is a smear campaign so I can find it and read it. Or is what you are claiming just you reading between the lines?

    But you are right, framing it the way you just did, you aren't interested in honest discourse. Cite was asked for posts ago

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77. icon
    PaulT (profile), 24 Oct 2019 @ 12:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, you're deliberately misrepresenting what I just said in the hope that you can turn my reaction to your words (is Wikipedia smearing her) into a claim I made. Dishonest is right.

    OK, then. Goodbye.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2019 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "...after repeated attacks from the right in the desperate hope of smearing her, she issued an apology in the hope they'd stop..."

    Your words, not mine.

    I've asked repeatedly for a cite or for a direct quote so I can read it for myself.

    Must be a reason you won't back up your claim.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79. icon
    PaulT (profile), 25 Oct 2019 @ 12:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I've asked repeatedly for a cite or for a direct quote "

    Yes, you do seem woefully ignorant of how this works. Even your own Wikipedia link listed several attacks, and anyone with any knowledge of the last decade of discourse surrounding the woman would have seen many such attacks on her, from Trump downwards.

    Anyway, here's the first thing that came up in Google, if you can be arsed to do some of that yourself you will find many other sources:

    https://facts.elizabethwarren.com/when-racism-become-political-strategy/

    Now, will you educate yourself, or are you just desperate for an argument where there's no room for one?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2019 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You came back!

    "You'd know that if you read the whole thing rather than cherry picking the later part of the story you can use as false equivalence."

    You couldn't find it either, huh?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81. icon
    PaulT (profile), 30 Oct 2019 @ 1:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "You couldn't find it either, huh?"

    How sad you have to play this little game rather than admit the evidence in front of you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Are you talking to a mirror?

    I have more confidence than that in others reading comprehension

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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