Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
@ 00:49:24
SEN. DIANE FEINSTEIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Stretch, we know that Russian operatives built misleading pages like Black Matters US and United Muslims of America to attract Facebook users. They then exploited a powerful Facebook tool called Custom Audiences to track down those users and send them targeted messages. Can you explain who was targeted using Facebook's Custom Audiences tool?
STRETCH: Thank you for the, for the question, Senator. As a threshold matter you're correct that much of the content that we've seen is essentially imitative of social causes very meaningful ones to many members of the community in the Facebook community and it's what makes this content so vile, so upsetting, so cynical, its attempt to exploit divisions in our society. In terms of the advertising tools that we use to promote these pages that were masquerading essentially the advertising targeting that was used in the main was a combination of very broad geographic targeting. Most of the ads about seventy-five percent of the corpus we've given you was targeted to the United States as a whole. And about a quarter of the ads were targeting at a more granular level to states. Um and they were targeted to interest groups. So we have various, what we call Like-based or Interest-based targeting that was apparently intended to attract people who following the causes you've identified to subscribe to those pages.
FEINSTEIN: Thank you. And what have you done with the tool since?
STRETCH:: Thank you for the question. It's an important one for us because we do believe these tools are powerful and yet we have a responsibility to make sure they're not used to inflame divisions. So what we're doing in making a number of changes to our ad targeting policies. We're tightening the restrictions on hate speech in ads generally. We're adding additional layers of review where people use people use potentially sensitive categories for targeting. And we're also limiting the ad  content permissions so that where are that, where ads are targeting at potentially divisive issues, we're trying to tighten our standards to make sure that they're not targeting individuals or communities.
@ 00:53:32
FEINSTEIN: A quick one for Twitter. Twitter produced images from tweets that contain false voting information, example, telling voters they could vote by sending a text message, all targeting likely Clinton voters just before the election. Twitter initially responded to complaints saying Twitter had, quote, determined that it was not in violation of our rules . Twitter has said that there was no obvious Russian origin. The posts were removed only after Twitter's CEO was directly notified by a Twitter user That's the facts as I understand them. Why was this false content allowed to remain in place?
EDGETT: My understanding is, once we had user reports of the content we began to remove it as a illegal voter suppression And the interesting thing about the text-to-vote tweets that we shared  with your staff was uh there was a small amount of tweets relative to the size of the platform. But impressions of tweets calling out those things as fake were eight time as large. We had ten times the number of re-tweets calling out those things as fake.
FEINSTEIN: Could you say that again? Impressions? I don't quite understand.
EDGETT: Okay. Thank you. Thank you for your question so we're all on the same page. Impressions is a metric we use to determine whether a tweet has been in view on our product so potentially seen by a user. But the interesting thing about the text-to-vote tweets were that we saw the complete counter-narrative around them. The Twitter community coming together and seizing on them to let everyone know that they were, that they were fake. But Twitter did action those tweets and remove them from the platform.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Nov 8th, 2017 at 04:31:56 PM EST
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