Facebook focused its restraint efforts on cases of political manipulation affecting rich countries on its platform, but ignored abuses in small, poor, and non-Western countries.
According to Spanish media reports, Facebook focused its restraint efforts on political manipulation cases affecting wealthy and Western countries on its platform, but ignored important abuses that occurred in small, poor, and non-Western countries. Internal reports issued by former employees of the company.
According to a Guardian investigation report, Sophia Zhang, a data scientist responsible for content review at Facebook, revealed documents about 30 cases of manipulation with political interest in 25 countries.
In cases involving countries such as the United States, Italy, Taiwan, South Korea, and Poland, Facebook has acted quickly, but in other countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Mongolia, Mexico, and other Latin American countries, the response has been slow or nonexistent.
After being fired, in September last year, Zhang had already condemned to BuzzFeed News that Facebook had “not cared enough to stop” political disinformation and warned Azerbaijan’s election campaign, President Ilham Aliyev and his party , The New Azerbaijan Party or YAP, used fake accounts to attack the opposition.
Then, the former employees of the social network admitted that “personal and unsupervised decisions will affect the president of the country” and “important politicians around the world”, including Spain, Italy, Iraq, Indonesia, India, Ukraine, Brazil and other countries , Bolivia, El Salvador and Ecuador.
According to the “Guardian” report, Zhang now assured Mark Zuckerberg’s company that Mark Zuckerberg’s company “caused a lot of damage on Facebook and therefore did not receive a response because it is not considered public Relationship risk”.
Among the main aspects of the false propaganda campaign, Zhang emphasized the importance of politicians’ false interactions on Facebook pages and accounts, with false followers and “likes.”
As an example of these practices, the former employee pointed out that 90% of the false activities that occurred in Honduras in August 2018 benefited the current president Juan Orlando Hernández’s campaign.
Due to “loopholes” in social network regulation policies, in Azerbaijan, President Aliyev’s political party continued to use Facebook to post millions of comments on news pages containing false information about opposition politicians.
In the case of Azerbaijan, in many cases, fake reviews are posted through fake pages linked to real user profiles, which were created shortly before the false information was posted.
The Guardian’s investigation revealed that it took Facebook nearly a year to eliminate the fake network of activities in Honduras, while it took 14 months in the case of Azerbaijan, and in both cases, similar activities All passed the initial audit filter of the platform again.
Among the uninvestigated cases, the report pointed to a network of false comments related to the Albanian government, a network of false accounts that provided support for a candidate in the presidential election of Bolivia in 2019, and other similar cases in Tunisia and Mongolia. .
Faced with Zhang Gang’s complaints about his superiors when he joined Facebook, the company’s vice president of integrity, Guy Rosen, responded that only “the investigation into the cooperative disinformation network of attackers such as the United States and Western Europe, Russia and Iran” .
This comment refers to a famous case of political interference with Facebook that occurred in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Donald Trump prevailed in this election due to elections from Russia and Iran. Intervention of false accounts occurred in the activity.