Facebook is a 'parallel universe' of lies and minisformation crafted to deliver the election to Trump

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/08/31/facebook-is-a-parallel-unive.html


Between the headline, the tweet, the summary of the tweet, and the lede, this story repeats the same message about Facebook being a parallel universe no less than four times before getting to the actual story. This seems… excessive.


It was evident from early on that Facebook was extremely shady, so it seems entirely plausible that it could have its thumb on the scale here. It’s also possible that the right wing has done a better job of gaming the platform.

But beyond the standard cry of “delete Facebook” which I did years ago (and which could simply hand the platform over to right wing voices if everyone on the left left) what can possibly be done here?


I’m asking myself the same question. I have also deleted my Facebook account (years ago) so it may be that we are in fact ceding the entire platform to the right.


So this explains all the secretive Trump-Zuck meetings. Not that there was ever any doubt!


And yet BB continues to include a share on FB button and it’s embedded trackers…


If I click on a single link within facebook that has anything to do with pro trump, my feed is immediately hijacked with pro trump propoganda and marketing and takes some effort to get it to stop again.


In order for that to happen, someone has to be dumping massive money into the platform in order to serve up that content. Hrm, wonder where that money is coming from.


Imposing anti-trust action or treating it as a regulated public utility are possible solutions in the medium term, but there’s a good chance it will be too late for that. Advertiser boycotts earlier this summer made some headway toward Zuckerberg making changes, although that seems to have stalled, too (probably because Zuck realised there are plenty of fascist-friendly or -apathetic brands willing to make up the difference, and because FB has a huge treasury to weather any short-term boycott).

Ultimately that’s what might have to happen: progressives and liberals abandoning the toxic waste dumps of FB and Twitter for another platform (preferably a federalised, de-centralised FOSS one) and then telling friends and relatives that they’ll have to meet them there or start using e-mail again for future social media interaction.


At what point do we start holding the people that believe a liar responsible?

Why are people going online and expecting the truth to be spoon fed to them? Take a healthy dose of skepticism, maybe shut the front door and be a little more particular about what nonsense you let into your brain.

So many people fall for total garbage, I am a bit afraid for these people really. The first year I moved into a big city I was naive and fell for an embarrassingly obvious scam. I only lost $40 but now we have millions of people wandering around the Internet with no idea that it’s really a rough place. You can be scammed out of you money, out of your vote, and out of your own autonomy. Terrifying to think that people are submitting themselves to some vague cult-like movement with no clear leader, just a literally anonymous mascot, QAnon.


Makes sense. Posts that make you angry get shared more.

While there are riots that are an issue, some of them unrelated to the main protestors, some of them in response to police escalating violence, it isn’t like the media has ignored them. They have reported on them. There are some people who want to focus ONLY on them.


If only something could be done…oh, wait, it could:

I saw a story about the Norway initiative to improve media literacy years ago. It seemed really positive.


And then there are the affiliate links…

On the one hand, I think there’s somewhere to report this garbage, on the other, maybe it’s okay for them to lose money to Boing Boing, even if it spikes my blood pressure?


Getting off topic, but: I wouldn’t (couldn’t!) read BoingBoing if I didn’t have about 6 million ad blockers.


I do think there is an unfair side to this. I agree that for one portion of FB everything stated is entirely true…but the other half of FB users (we have no way of knowing the literal percentage of users…so let’s just split to equal 50/50) have nothing to do with the bullshit misinformation for a variety of reasons.

That half of the user base really uses it for its intended purpose of staying in touch with friends and family, birthday wishes, sharing memes and funny posts, party invites, etc. And never really comes into contact with much of the bullshit other than to be annoyed by it and report/block it.


I tend to be pretty forgiving of the suckers in large situations like this. Much like you were able to be taken in by an experienced conman we have to accept that there is a large well financed operation designed to mislead. It’s hard to avoid all of the scams and, particularly in the political realm, once the hooks are in they are able to guide your path pretty well.


This is a non-starter. It’s already been ruled on by SCOTUS that this isn’t legally recognized, but also, it would be giving conservatives what they want. They want to be able to control it and force entities to be “fair” - which to them means letting the far right have a large platform and a captive audience without consequence for what they say.


This is slightly off topic, but to my thinking, as soon as a platform introduces algorithms that impact how posts are prioritized, they are essentially a publisher and bear some responsibility.
Can someone with more legal knowledge than me explain how I can be held liable if someone falls down on stairs I built on my own personal property that I didn’t invite them onto, but Fecesbook and other platforms can’t be held responsible for the insane garbage promulgated on their platforms that they built and invited us all onto?



The BBS front page is exhibiting the same. Disgusting.