Facebook Roundup, September 19, 2022


Ars Technica: Facebook reverses permanent ban on Holocaust movie after outcry. “Facebook moderators told Newton that his film was banned because the company’s ad policy restricts content that ‘includes direct or indirect assertions or implications about a person’s race.’ Because Newton’s movie in the US is titled Beautiful Blue Eyes, Facebook moderators banned its promotion in Facebook ads, seemingly reading the title as hinting at race.” Sometimes in the course of doing ResearchBuzz I end up yelling at the monitor. This is one of those times.

Wall Street Journal: Instagram Stumbles in Push to Mimic TikTok, Internal Documents Show. “The document, titled ‘Creators x Reels State of the Union 2022,’ was published internally in August. It said that Reels engagement had been falling—down 13.6% over the previous four weeks—and that ‘most Reels users have no engagement whatsoever.’ One reason is that Instagram has struggled to recruit people to make content. Roughly 11 million creators are on the platform in the U.S., but only about 2.3 million of them, or 20.7%, post on that platform each month, the document said.”

CNET: Facebook Shutters Its Community-Connecting Nextdoor Clone. “Meta is winding down its Nextdoor-like Facebook expansion Neighborhoods, which sought to connect users who lived near each other, but never exited the testing phase.”

NBC News: FBI responds to Mark Zuckerberg claims in Joe Rogan show . “The day after Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook limited a polarizing story ahead of the 2020 election because of an FBI warning, the federal agency said it can only alert a private entity of a potential threat, not require it to take action.”


Axios: Scoop: Meta merging content moderation teams for ads and user posts. “Meta is merging its business integrity unit, the team that moderates ad content, with its central integrity team, which moderates users’ posts, according to an internal memo obtained by Axios.”

ProPublica: Real Money, Fake Musicians: Inside a Million-Dollar Instagram Verification Scheme. “A jeweler. A plastic surgeon. An OnlyFans Model. They and others received a blue check in likely the biggest Instagram verification scheme revealed to date. After ProPublica started asking questions, Meta removed badges from over 300 accounts.”

TechCrunch: Meta just erased a Proud Boys network stealthily organizing on Facebook and Instagram. “Meta disclosed Thursday that it recently removed a network of activity affiliated with the violent extremist group after it detected members making inroads back onto Facebook and Instagram. The company says it removed around 480 Proud Boys accounts, pages, groups and events through a strategy it calls ‘strategic network disruption’ — basically neutralizing a network of activity linked to a banned group in a targeted, simultaneous sweep.”

CNET: Facebook Parent Meta Shares Details About Newsworthy Posts It Leaves Up . “Facebook parent company Meta said that from June 2021 to June 2022 it made 68 ‘newsworthiness allowances’ for pieces of content that might violate its rules. It’s the first time Meta has revealed how many times it’s applied an exemption under which it leaves up newsworthy content that could break its rules.”


International Business Times: Irish Data Watchdog Fines Instagram 405 Mn Euros Over Children. “Ireland’s Data Protection Commission on Monday said it had fined Instagram a record 405 million euros ($402 million) for breaching regulations on the handling of children’s data…. The DPC launched an investigation in late 2020 into concerns about how the image-sharing social media platform handles children’s personal data.”

Washington Post: Washington state judge rules Facebook violated campaign finance rules. “A Washington state judge ruled Friday that Facebook repeatedly violated campaign finance rules requiring platforms to release information about political advertisers on their sites.”

CNET: Facebook Parent Meta to Settle Cambridge Analytica Lawsuit. “Facebook parent company Meta has agreed to settle a privacy lawsuit tied to 2018’s headline-grabbing Cambridge Analytica scandal, according to court papers filed Friday. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, ex-Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and current COO Javier Olivan had been scheduled to provide testimony in the case sometime during the next month.”


Schneier on Security: Facebook Has No Idea What Data It Has. “Facebook’s stonewalling has been revealing on its own, providing variations on the same theme: It has amassed so much data on so many billions of people and organized it so confusingly that full transparency is impossible on a technical level.”

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