Category Archives: ads

Facebook Steps Up Fight Against Vaccine Misinformation

(AP) — Social media giant Facebook says it will remove groups and pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations on its site.

It’s the latest step Facebook and others are taking to stem the tide of misinformation on social media sites.

Facebook says it will take its cue from global health organizations, such as the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which have publicly identified verifiable vaccine hoaxes.

If groups and pages spread those hoaxes, they won’t appear in recommendations or in predictions functions when searched for in Facebook. Ads with similar information will be rejected.

And content that contains the misinformation won’t be shown on Instagram Explore or hashtag pages.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Governor Rauner, JB Pritzker Run Attack Ads Against Each Other

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic challenger JB Pritzker are attacking each other with new ads over the airwaves and on the Internet.

Rauner and Pritzker both have contested primaries, but both continue to act as if they are already in the general election.

Rauner’s campaign is out with an ad that trumpets FBI surveillance tapes in which now jailed, ex-governor Rod Blagojevich suggests he might appoint Pritzker to be Illinois Attorney General.

Pritzker was never accused of wrongdoing, but his campaign is retaliating with an ad sampling news coverage of the Governor’s handling of the Legionnaires disease outbreak at the Quincy Veterans Home.

The governor said the state has the situation well in hand.

Facebook COO Sandberg Favors Release Of Russia-Linked Ads

MENLO PARK (AP) — A top Facebook executive says ads linked to Russia trying to influence the U.S. presidential election should “absolutely” be released to the public, along with information on whom the ads were targeting.

Previously, Facebook declined to make the ads public. While Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, now favors the release, she didn’t say Thursday when the company would do so.

The company disclosed last month that it found ads linked to fake accounts — likely run from Russia — that sought to influence the election. Facebook says these ads focused on divisive political issues, such as immigration and gun rights, in an apparent attempt to sow discord among the U.S. population. The ads included promoted events and amplified posts that show up in users’ news feeds.

Facebook has turned over the ads — and information on how they were targeted, such as by geography or to people with a certain political affiliation — to congressional investigators. Congress is also investigating Russia-linked ads on Twitter and Google.

In an interview with the news site Axios on Thursday, Sandberg said Facebook has the responsibility to prevent the kind of abuse that occurred on its service during the election. She said Facebook hopes to “set a new standard in transparency in advertising.”

But she also said that had the ads been linked to legitimate, rather than fake, Facebook accounts, “most of them would have been allowed to run.” While the company prohibits certain content such as hate speech, it does not want to prevent free expression, she said.

“The thing about free expression is that when you allow free expression, you allow free expression,” Sandberg said.

The move comes as critics and lawmakers are increasingly calling for the regulation of Facebook and other internet giants.

Sandberg is meeting with elected officials in Washington this week ahead of a House hearing at which executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google are expected to testify. Sandberg is no stranger to Washington. Before her time at Google and later Facebook, she worked for Larry Summers, the treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton.

Sandberg said Facebook didn’t catch these ads earlier because it was focused on other threats, such as hacking. Facebook, she said, does owe America an apology.

“What we really owe the American people is determination” to do “everything we can” to defend against threats and foreign interference, Sandberg said.

Sandberg didn’t say whether she believes Facebook played a role in electing Donald Trump as president, as critics have said it did by allowing the spread of fake news on its service.

She said only that the role Facebook plays in elections “go beyond any one campaign, any one country.”

Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has backtracked from calling the idea of Facebook’s influence on the election “pretty crazy.”

Later Thursday, Sandberg met privately with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, where she was pressed on what the company is doing in response to its discovery that many of the ads pushed by Russian-linked accounts were aimed at sowing racial discord.

A member of Congress who viewed about 70 of the roughly 3,000 ads told The Associated Press that they were meant to stir up strong emotions on all sides. Some of the ads showed white police officers beating black people, said the member, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the ads aren’t yet public.

Besides discussing election meddling, the members also pushed for Facebook to improve diversity in its workforce, particularly in its upper management. Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Louisiana Democrat who chairs the caucus, said Sandberg promised to appoint an African-American to the board, a move the caucus and other activists have been pushing for years. Facebook has eight board members, all white. Two, including Sandberg, are women.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Zuckerberg: Facebook Won’t Be Used ‘To Undermine Democracy’

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Saying he did not want anyone to use Facebook “to undermine democracy,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday announced his company would turn over 3,000 controversial ads purchased by Russians to Congressional investigators.

Zuckerberg addressed the criticism leveled at his social platform after it was revealed earlier this month that hundreds of phony Facebook accounts, likely run from Russia, spent about $100,000 on ads aimed at stirring up divisive issues such as gun control and race relations during the 2016 campaign.

The chairman of the Senate intelligence committee said that Facebook executives should testify as part of its probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. election, and that the social media giant “seems to have been less than forthcoming” with Congress.

“Facebook seems to have been less than forthcoming on potentially how they were used,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., adding that it’s “just a question of when, and potentially the scope of what that hearing would be.”

Zuckerberg, on his first day back after a paternity leave following the birth of his second child, took to Facebook Thursday to make the announcement.

“The integrity of our elections is fundamental to democracy around the world,” he said. “Our teams have found and shut down thousands of fake accounts that could be attempting to influence elections in many other countries, including recently in the French election…I wish I could tell you we are going to be able to stop all interference, but that would’t be realistic.”

Zuckerberg admitted Thursday that at first they didn’t think the Russians actually bought ads.

“We have been investigating this for many months, and for a while we had found no evidence of fake accounts linked to Russia running ads,” Zuckerberg explained.

But on Thursday, he confirmed there were paid ads: more than 3,000 of them.

“When we recently uncovered this activity, we provided that information to the special counsel,” Zuckerberg said. “We also briefed Congress — and this morning I directed our team to provide the ads we’ve found to Congress as well.”

On Thursday, he said Facebook techs were still looking for any other Russian accounts, and he vowed more transparency going forward.

“Not only will you have to disclose which page paid for an ad, but we will also make it so you can visit an advertiser’s page and see the ads they’re currently running to any audience on Facebook,” said Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg hinted that the company may not provide much information publicly, saying that the ongoing federal investigation will limit what he can reveal.

“As a general rule, we are limited in what we can discuss publicly about law enforcement investigations, so we may not always be able to share our findings publicly,” he said.

Hemu Nigam is a cyber-security expert. He told KPIX 5 he’s not buying Facebook’s good guy routine. He said the company is simply trying to save face

“The real question we should be asking is, ‘Why is Facebook talking about this now?’” said Nigam.

He said the changes Facebook is promising could have been done last year. The company is only acting now because they’re in trouble.

“I don’t think it’s so much a trouble in the legal sense, but what you do have is a major reputation issue that they’re going to have to deal with,” said Nigam.

He says Facebook’s actions send a message: companies can act and the public will expect them to so.

“This should be a message to the entire industry: that you can be proactive,” said Nigam. “And in fact, it’s actually in today’s day and age, a necessity for doing business internationally.”