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Thread: The Problems with Facebook

  1. Link to Post #81
    Avalon Member Hym's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    Very cool Mike. It's kind of a rhetorical question, asking what's wrong with In-Your-Facebook, but it is well worth bringing up because it is such a massive manipulation of so many social and personal issues. Like more than a few here I saw the b.s. from the concept alone and have never visited the intel site. Not surprised with all of the disconnect some have created that has caused the insecurities, the loneliness, the superficial construct with an emotional pull to it, drawing some into the unbelievable nature of such shallow self-absorption .

    What a boring life filled with the details of someone else's life, just as it would be creepy to have someone I do or don't know looking at the mundane details of my life, things I'm not even interested in. Those media creations are activities produced to draw awareness away from really knowing your own power, a process that often involves taking yourself out of the equation.

    Just the words alone are annoying. I-Phone, looking at the Twit twitting, it's my face on face-book, it's my space-not yours. If i ask someone to look at me and not at the soul looking out from my eyes they won't be looking inside of themselves, and that's usually the only thing I find worthy of both of our attentions, our shared inner truths or our pains in need of healing. That form of data collection is not called Inner Truths or True Self-Ease (selfies) for just these reasons. It is meant not to look for value. It is only the false face of the temporal world cloaked in some false show of immediacy. Yes it has caught your "I", but can you truly see anything from inside of that electronic shell?

    Maybe I should change my name here on this forum to some initials or a couple of numbers to insure that there is no 'me' in the sharing. I used the 'Hey it's me' as a form of one friend talking with another, like Hey, Friend, it's just me. A form of intimacy in a non-descript format......
    Naah....no need to do that. Ya'll here are much more aware than me going off bein' all over thoughty and such.

    On some meaningful level our exteriors are robotic in their precious time containment and not fully reflective of our creative, infinite loving selves, what with all of the social correctness directed on outward appearances and the whims of corporate fashion's greed for unending profitability.

    Did anyone ever think they'd be conned into sharing such trivial details about their lives when they were young? When Bill Hicks said he wanted all in the advertising industry, the Bernaysian-spawned genetic progenitors of social media in forms like FB, to kill themselves, he was spot on in so many ways. No, seriously, kill yourselves. That's the only ghandian thing to do, even the buddha would let you sit on the thousand petal lotus for a moment, just to alleviate the world of the pain you've created, you more than useless f***s.

    Saw a picture of a childhood schoolmate and neighbor years ago, on a high school yearbook site. He looked just like I thought he'd be when we were both young. I didn't spend much time with him then and I doubt that I'd be much more than a counselor to him now. He had let himself go and society didn't do him or his health any good at all. I realistically understand that there is good cause to not have had any contact with many from my past, even with the many genetic siblings out there. Without judging, and thinking of them in the only ways I could do in a positive manner, I see that is much better to have no contact than telling them I told you so. The divide, tho not in my thoughts now, would be even greater and would be of no good service to them.


    I would have named the organization Superficial Book. It will hold you so close in it's embrace and look so far up your ass that it'll make you cringe, or smile, just thinking about it.
    Last edited by Hym; 6th February 2016 at 09:17.

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    Avalon Member Carmody's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    New data emergent:

    Apparently the penetration of Facebook in the 18-34 demographic is complete.

    It is considered to be very near 100% in the US. This sort of data makes me recall the speculation as to it's origins.


    to add, from another thread:

    Quote Posted by Carmody (here)
    regarding priority threads:

    I have a relative who worked in a place where they tried to organize the place with respect to things that were urgent. They put red stickers on the priority tasks.

    Within a week or two, everything had priority stickers on it.

    That an effectual forum with a future.... possibly (for your consideration)... is a group consensus (averaged) system of data sharing and support, not a vehicle of personal unfolding foisted on all others as a overlay in those given individual personal hopes and desires.

    The very reason that 7 billion people cannot possibly live the life of tasting billionaire success in forms of excess that are both subtle and gross. The body may pressure us individually into such a direction of self as expression, but the world cannot handle even a hundredth of that desire ever coming true.

    This sort of thing, which is steeped in our individualism... as individual 'mostly closed' (external feedback loops are limited) buckets of mind and organics in situ and in motion, tends to cause frictive intrusion on some level or another.

    Ie, all 7 billion individual balloons cannot expand fully, in exploration of all, in a space that cannot accommodate it. The result in the given attempt is a more complex, varied and expanded noise level and far less societal cohesion (in some 'historical norm' ways).

    Facebook is a natural and expected 'pressure release area' exploration of the given individual and overall group's deep desires in such direction.
    Last edited by Carmody; 4th April 2016 at 14:51.
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    Virgin Islands Avalon Member TargeT's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    Quote Posted by Carmody (here)
    New data emergent:

    Apparently the penetration of Facebook in the 18-34 demographic is complete.

    It is considered to be very near 100% in the US. This sort of data makes me recall the speculation as to it's origins.
    Just wait till VR is included... a WHOLE NEW data set to parse....

    It starts:

    Quote There Are Some Super Shady Things in Oculus Rift's Terms of Service


    The Oculus Rift is starting to ship, and we’re pretty happy with it. While it’s cool, like any interesting gadget, it’s worth looking through the Terms of Service, because there are some worrisome things included.

    Quite a few of the items in the document are pretty typical in any sort of Terms of Service agreement. These include details like waiving your right to a juried trial and agreeing to go into arbitration instead. Oculus can also terminate your service for myriad reasons, and third parties can collect information on you. However, there are some even more devilish details in the Rift’s full Terms of Service.
    Oculus (and basically Facebook) owns creative content

    If you create something using Oculus’ services, the Terms of Service say that you surrender all rights to that work and that Oculus can use it whenever it wants, for whatever purposes:

    By submitting User Content through the Services, you grant Oculus a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual (i.e. lasting forever), non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free and fully sublicensable (i.e. we can grant this right to others) right to use, copy, display, store, adapt, publicly perform and distribute such User Content in connection with the Services. You irrevocably consent to any and all acts or omissions by us or persons authorized by us that may infringe any moral right (or analogous right) in your User Content.

    Basically, if you create something and then blast it out into the world using the pipelines that Oculus provides, the company can use it—and they don’t have to pay you for using it. Oculus can use it even if you don’t agree with its use. Oculus does not go as far as saying that it owns the content—but it can does want access to it in ways that some creators might find intrusive.

    This probably doesn’t matter much if you’re using the device as a gaming platform, but with a new type of device that’s out there, there are a whole range of unforeseen uses. Based on the wording of the Terms of Service, a creative developer could make a piece of interactive artwork that Oculus could then use for an Oculus ad without the artist’s permission.

    Who knows what else VR might allow people to create. But to do so—at least initially with the Oculus Rift—you might lose out on exclusivity with your work, something that’s important for writers and artists.
    Oculus can collect data from you while you’re using the device

    This next caveat is more obvious but also more worrisome. The Terms of Service document reads:

    Information about your interactions with our Services, like information about the games, content, apps or other experiences you interact with, and information collected in or through cookies, local storage, pixels, and similar technologies (additional information about these technologies is available at https://www.oculus.com/en-us/cookies-...);
    Information about how you access our Services, including information about the type of device you’re using (such as a headset, PC, or mobile device), your browser or operating system, your Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, and certain device identifiers that may be unique to your device;
    Information about the games, content, or other apps installed on your device or provided through our Services, including from third parties;
    Location information, which can be derived from information such as your device’s IP address. If you’re using a mobile device, we may collect information about the device’s precise location, which is derived from sources such as the device’s GPS signal and information about nearby WiFi networks and cell towers; and
    Information about your physical movements and dimensions when you use a virtual reality headset.’

    Furthermore, the information that they collect can be used to directly market products to you:

    To market to you. We use the information we collect to send you promotional messages and content and otherwise market to you on and off our Services. We also use this information to measure how users respond to our marketing efforts.

    This is kind of creepy! Given that Oculus can collect information about how you move and how you’re shaped. The Facebook-owned company can use your location and log your activity, and it can even do so automatically.

    And on a related note, given that Facebook owns Oculus, it’s not surprising that the Terms of Service also include language that allows the company to monetize your experience: that is, after all, what the Facebook platform has been historically extremely good at.

    What’s most worrisome here is that the emergence of VR technology opens up an new type of data for companies to mine en masse which can be collected efficiently. The fact that Oculus, the clear leader in the new VR marketplace, is setting this precedent could be dangerous for the future of the technology. Furthermore, as UploadVR noted, the Oculus Rift is a device that is always on (much like Microsoft’s Xbox One Kinect feature) which leads to further concerns about when the information will be collected. Who the hell knows when and where the NSA will get involved.

    We’ve reached out to Oculus for more details about its new Terms of Service and will update this post if we hear back.
    http://gizmodo.com/there-are-some-su...rms-1768678169
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  7. Link to Post #84
    Avalon Member Carmody's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    I was going to get into that part.

    I edited my post to add some interesting thoughts, which have some strong and deep truths to them.

    What this means that that "systems of Facebook" are not going away any time soon.

    Nay, they will expand and that VR will take off, it will explode in popularity and in excess in unfathomable intensity... due to those internal pressures finally finding release.

    "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale"
    Last edited by Carmody; 4th April 2016 at 15:03.
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    UK Avalon Member Mike Gorman's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    Facebook is absolutely enormous, and it seems 87% of users are outside the USA-so this really is becoming a global civilization 'mirror'-really it is now just a default communications platform that marketers are going to increasingly exploit, rather like an interactive version of television (T.V2.0) the original 'black ops' version of the internet is rapidly disappearing and the 'The Net' is now just another media, a default location for human consciousness to hang out...I'm going to bed I'm becoming cynical.

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  11. Link to Post #86
    Avalon Member Carmody's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    Essentially, people are wired to procreate, and in a situation where such deepest prioritization is lacking, they masturbate. I recall reading of a study done about such things, in the Detroit area. a recent study, which would, of course, include the modern effects of internet pornography. The level of daily masturbation in the males was nearly complete. Females in the study? Not far behind.

    Comparatively, the drive to be all and of all, to expand in and of all, in the individual...--those pressures are the same. The reality is that societal cohesion and interactions control such urgings.

    Facebook and VR are the removal, well..not removal, but the alteration.... of such barriers which are built out of societal cohesion and interaction.

    Like a hole punched into the side of a highly charged and over-pressured containment/body/vehicle..... the mass of gas will expand into it. (out from the pressurized original contained and constrained area)

    You should be horrified and also, relieved.

    For humanity requires this release if it is to settle down.

    To be more to the realistic point -------Your worry should be centered around who and what is driving; what parasitical action is being enacted behind the closed programming which is part and parcel of this venting structure called Facebook and VR. (there are other pressure vents, not just these two...)

    (to release the pressure also means the loss of the pressure to break free from envisioned structures, the dark side of the venting issue)
    Last edited by Carmody; 4th April 2016 at 19:26.
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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    Facebook has been a bitter/sweet pill. What I like is the free flow of information. What I don't like is that they are now RANDOMLY forcing people to prove who they are (show them their ID) and requiring that those random individuals use their "legal" names (while others remain free to use obvious fake names). (I actually have two "legal" names, so I wonder which one they would prefer?) When Facebook first came out, the idea was that people would only interact with people they actually knew in real life. So using one's real name was not a problem. However, many soon discovered that it was a great way to get to meet and become acquainted with others from around the world. Once you get to know someone, then it becomes your choice as to how much personal information you wish to share with that person. After many years of participation on Facebook (eight, to be exact), the administrators contacted me a few days ago with the threat that if I don't provide them with my ID, my account will be suspended. I'm not one who will be bullied, so about Tuesday, I expect I will be locked out because I'm not going to give them any ID. I have long believed it is a good idea to hold onto things lightly. That way, when someone gives you an ultimatum to either buckle to their will or they will take something from you, it is much easier to let them have it and walk away (which is exactly what I intend to do). The Universe itself provided me with this forum instead, and I have a pretty good idea it will become my new "home." I'm very excited to be here!
    “The sign of intelligence is that you are constantly wondering. Idiots are always dead sure about every damn thing they are doing in their life.” ~Vasudev

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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    Question: What would people like to see in the ideal social site? In terms of login, etc

    I'm aware there may be a lot of tracking going on at FB, but in my view, they have still done more good than harm. Zuck has quietly disrupted the media, and the pharamaceutical complex, and the military industrial complex... destroyed them all beyond repair. He did it all from within the system. He's not perfect, but I see him as a light grey hat. It would be healthier if social media was distributed among more platforms, to break up monopolies, but that's our fault, not his.

    I am developing a niche site with an increased social media content (partially inspired by this thread), and I would ask people to look at things from the developers point of view. FB insists on photos and real names, this is one factor that keeps people polite in FB group conversations. First names is a powerful social force. Kaume, I think it's OK that they ask people with weird names to prove who they are. It's fair on everyone else... Project Avalon has their own way of keeping people polite, by providing an entry form which effectively dissuades trolls from signing up.

    I am considering only allowing signups with Facebook, Twitter, Google Circles and other 3rd party authentication apps, just because it means there will be less disruptors and bad vibes. I have actually turned the issue over in my head for months, and still haven't come up with an answer that keeps everyone happy. Maybe I will also include a signup form which is similar to Avalon. Reddit solved freedom of speech issues with a 'downvote' system, so people can mediate their own conversations. Reddit became popular because downvoting partially eliminates the need for moderators. The point is, signup policies are not easy, and one of the biggest headaches for anyone building a site.

    Photos keeps people friendly, on the other hand, anonymous posting can give a real edge to a site. 2channel in Japan is based on anon coversations. GLP has a raucous energy, with a hell of a lof of garbage, but also a high proportion of insiders, because whistelblowers can log on freely, drop their info, and leave. For this reason I suggest that Avalon has a subforum where anonymus insiders can post with no logon. It would bring a new energy to the site. If members could collapse troll comments you could hit a balance between freedom of speech, and freedom not to read rubbish.

    There are many subtle social dynamics going on when you analyse authentication policies.

    Signup policies can make or break a site. How many times have you clicked off a sign up form with too many fields? What's App rose to become the number 1 communcation app in the world, because their sign up policy (use you phone number) was so easy. If a sign up is too difficult, you lose users. If it's too easy, trolls slip in.

    When a site becomes as big as FB, there has to be a degree of automation, which means someone, somewhere, will be on the raw end of a policy. So the question at the end of all that meandering is: How would you set the authentication bar of your own site if you hit hockey stick growth?
    Last edited by Daozen; 30th April 2016 at 01:03.

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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    Hmmm Facebook
    Some great perspectives on this thread. Thank you Mike for your research paper on case study James ..

    And Daozen, wow I would like to get inside your head. I also think FB has been a tool for change and maybe - I don't know - Zuckerberg has been instrumental

    But ... after some interesting FB interventions a couple f years ago when I was on A mission to expose and demonise Monsanto, I think absolutely not. Out of nowhere, I received a personal DM from an old friend asking me to take down the photo I was using, and I was in that awkward moment of thinking how to field her question when she bolted into the chat box with: I didn't write that! Facebook must have. I can't believe this ...

    It was an insight, the nose of the beast showed itself.

    I work Facebook for a number of reasons, use it as a tool but to trust i? hmmm .. and I don't think it is a polite place either. Trolls are everywhere and to bring your political interests into even your own diverse social network can be a minefield. Sometimes a pure moment of authenticity will bloom and it can be a wonderful place too, just like here.

    But that I cant reach Zuckerberg for a question tells me something. I probably could if I really tried to get a conversation with him but .. It's a corporation like McDonald's .. Ever tried contacting McDonald's with a complaint? It's like they don't exist, they're so secret.

    What an interesting world ..
    Last edited by Debra; 30th April 2016 at 02:06. Reason: Added a smile

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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    Quote Posted by Zebra (here)
    And Daozen, wow I would like to get inside your head.
    Are you sure? Try listening to both these songs at the same time with the volume turned up:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZZTfu4jWcI
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTTzcXSLjhI

    Quote But ... after some interesting FB interventions a couple of years ago when I was on A mission to expose and demonise Monsanto, I think absolutely not. Out of nowhere, I received a personal DM from an old friend asking me to take down the photo I was using, and I was in that awkward moment of thinking how to field her question when she bolted into the chat box with: I didn't write that! Facebook must have. I can't believe this ...

    It was an insight, the nose of the beast showed itself.
    I don't deny this goes on. I have seen people shadowbanned and other things. I've been shadowbanned myself, I think. But the sheer amount of positive memes just cannot be stopped. If there is a group like that, they are only reaching 1-5 percent of "dissident memes"
    Last edited by Daozen; 30th April 2016 at 04:20.

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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    Quote Posted by Daozen (here)
    Quote Posted by Zebra (here)
    And Daozen, wow I would like to get inside your head.
    Are you sure? Try listening to both these songs at the same time with the volume turned up:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZZTfu4jWcI
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTTzcXSLjhI
    Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpg
Views:	95
Size:	617.9 KB
ID:	33404

    I love it even more Daozen LOL

    [/QUOTE]I don't deny all these things go on. I have seen people shadowbanned and other things. I've been shadowbanned myself, I think. But the sheer amount of positive memes just cannot be stopped. If there is a group like that, they are only reaching 1-5 percent of "dissident memes"[/QUOTE]

    This is the language, data and insight I want to know more about -

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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    Quote This is the language, data and insight I want to know more about -
    I can't prove those figures, of course, but the Svali testimonial, deduction, and the fact that my feed is full of anti-Monsanto memes etc shows me that they are overwhelmed. We can either walk away, or flood FB with positivity, and we chose the latter. I definitely understand how people feel about the "superficiality" of FB, as Hym said. I think they need to integrate with crowdfunding. When one billion people work out that they can fund useful projects with just a mouse click, that has the potential to change the Earth. It would be more healthy if this market share was spread around multiple sites, as I said.

    Again, it's our fault that it's superficial. There is nothing in the terms and conditions of FB that states it must be used to share photos of bowls of noodles. A telephone or a page can be used for useless nattering, or organizng something genuinely useful. I had a colleague who organized a march 9 years ago. Something about Burma. He started it alone and it reached 50,000 members in a few days.

    So I'm not so much saying how awesome FB is... just that we can look at the psychological terrain disspassionately; walk away, or lightly engage the merry-go-round of subversion and resubversion like an etheric waltz in Eyes Wide Shut.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXhYAS1Kyp8
    Last edited by Daozen; 30th April 2016 at 04:41.

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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    FACEBOOK ME..... ------> Christine Angela Mancuso from Jensen beach florida <-------

    I love to network with people who want to help change the world
    We X Billions want to change the world and it appears we are......
    PARADISE IS POSSIBLE EVERYWHERE 4 EVERYONE

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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    that's strange
    Mod edit from Bill: please make clear what you're referring to, by quoting the original message when the reply is a simple one like that. From a reader's point of view, you might be referring to any comment on the thread. Thanks.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 13th May 2016 at 14:13.

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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    .
    This may have been posted elsewhere here — and many Facebook users will surely be aware of this.

    From Gizmodo, 9 May 2016: (and widely reported elsewhere)

    http://gizmodo.com/former-facebook-w...ser-1775461006

    Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News




    Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.



    Several former Facebook “news curators,” as they were known internally, also told Gizmodo that they were instructed to artificially “inject” selected stories into the trending news module, even if they weren’t popular enough to warrant inclusion—or in some cases weren’t trending at all. The former curators, all of whom worked as contractors, also said they were directed not to include news about Facebook itself in the trending module.

    In other words, Facebook’s news section operates like a traditional newsroom, reflecting the biases of its workers and the institutional imperatives of the corporation. Imposing human editorial values onto the lists of topics an algorithm spits out is by no means a bad thing—but it is in stark contrast to the company’s claims that the trending module simply lists “topics that have recently become popular on Facebook.”

    These new allegations emerged after Gizmodo last week revealed details about the inner workings of Facebook’s trending news team—a small group of young journalists, primarily educated at Ivy League or private East Coast universities, who curate the “trending” module on the upper-right-hand corner of the site. As we reported last week, curators have access to a ranked list of trending topics surfaced by Facebook’s algorithm, which prioritizes the stories that should be shown to Facebook users in the trending section. The curators write headlines and summaries of each topic, and include links to news sites. The section, which launched in 2014, constitutes some of the most powerful real estate on the internet and helps dictate what news Facebook’s users—167 million in the US alone—are reading at any given moment.
    “I believe it had a chilling effect on conservative news.”

    “Depending on who was on shift, things would be blacklisted or trending,” said the former curator. This individual asked to remain anonymous, citing fear of retribution from the company. The former curator is politically conservative, one of a very small handful of curators with such views on the trending team. “I’d come on shift and I’d discover that CPAC or Mitt Romney or Glenn Beck or popular conservative topics wouldn’t be trending because either the curator didn’t recognize the news topic or it was like they had a bias against Ted Cruz.”

    The former curator was so troubled by the omissions that they kept a running log of them at the time; this individual provided the notes to Gizmodo. Among the deep-sixed or suppressed topics on the list: former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was accused by Republicans of inappropriately scrutinizing conservative groups; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; popular conservative news aggregator the Drudge Report; Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who was murdered in 2013; and former Fox News contributor Steven Crowder. “I believe it had a chilling effect on conservative news,” the former curator said.

    Another former curator agreed that the operation had an aversion to right-wing news sources. “It was absolutely bias. We were doing it subjectively. It just depends on who the curator is and what time of day it is,” said the former curator. “Every once in awhile a Red State or conservative news source would have a story. But we would have to go and find the same story from a more neutral outlet that wasn’t as biased.”

    Stories covered by conservative outlets (like Breitbart, Washington Examiner, and Newsmax) that were trending enough to be picked up by Facebook’s algorithm were excluded unless mainstream sites like the New York Times, the BBC, and CNN covered the same stories.

    Other former curators interviewed by Gizmodo denied consciously suppressing conservative news, and we were unable to determine if left-wing news topics or sources were similarly suppressed. The conservative curator described the omissions as a function of his colleagues’ judgements; there is no evidence that Facebook management mandated or was even aware of any political bias at work.

    Managers on the trending news team did, however, explicitly instruct curators to artificially manipulate the trending module in a different way: When users weren’t reading stories that management viewed as important, several former workers said, curators were told to put them in the trending news feed anyway. Several former curators described using something called an “injection tool” to push topics into the trending module that weren’t organically being shared or discussed enough to warrant inclusion—putting the headlines in front of thousands of readers rather than allowing stories to surface on their own. In some cases, after a topic was injected, it actually became the number one trending news topic on Facebook.

    “We were told that if we saw something, a news story that was on the front page of these ten sites, like CNN, the New York Times, and BBC, then we could inject the topic,” said one former curator. “If it looked like it had enough news sites covering the story, we could inject it—even if it wasn’t naturally trending.” Sometimes, breaking news would be injected because it wasn’t attaining critical mass on Facebook quickly enough to be deemed “trending” by the algorithm. Former curators cited the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris as two instances in which non-trending stories were forced into the module. Facebook has struggled to compete with Twitter when it comes to delivering real-time news to users; the injection tool may have been designed to artificially correct for that deficiency in the network. “We would get yelled at if it was all over Twitter and not on Facebook,” one former curator said.

    “Facebook got a lot of pressure about not having a trending topic for Black Lives Matter.”

    In other instances, curators would inject a story—even if it wasn’t being widely discussed on Facebook—because it was deemed important for making the network look like a place where people talked about hard news. “People stopped caring about Syria,” one former curator said. “[And] if it wasn’t trending on Facebook, it would make Facebook look bad.” That same curator said the Black Lives Matter movement was also injected into Facebook’s trending news module. “Facebook got a lot of pressure about not having a trending topic for Black Lives Matter,” the individual said. “They realized it was a problem, and they boosted it in the ordering. They gave it preference over other topics. When we injected it, everyone started saying, ‘Yeah, now I’m seeing it as number one’.” This particular injection is especially noteworthy because the #BlackLivesMatter movement originated on Facebook, and the ensuing media coverage of the movement often noted its powerful social media presence.

    (In February, CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed his support for the movement in an internal memo chastising Facebook employees for defacing Black Lives Matter slogans on the company’s internal “signature wall.”)

    When stories about Facebook itself would trend organically on the network, news curators used less discretion—they were told not to include these stories at all. “When it was a story about the company, we were told not to touch it,” said one former curator. “It had to be cleared through several channels, even if it was being shared quite a bit. We were told that we should not be putting it on the trending tool.”

    (The curators interviewed for this story worked for Facebook across a timespan ranging from mid-2014 to December 2015.)

    “We were always cautious about covering Facebook,” said another former curator. “We would always wait to get second level approval before trending something to Facebook. Usually we had the authority to trend anything on our own [but] if it was something involving Facebook, the copy editor would call their manager, and that manager might even call their manager before approving a topic involving Facebook.”

    Gizmodo reached out to Facebook for comment about each of these specific claims via email and phone, but did not receive a response.

    Several former curators said that as the trending news algorithm improved, there were fewer instances of stories being injected. They also said that the trending news process was constantly being changed, so there’s no way to know exactly how the module is run now. But the revelations undermine any presumption of Facebook as a neutral pipeline for news, or the trending news module as an algorithmically-driven list of what people are actually talking about.

    Rather, Facebook’s efforts to play the news game reveal the company to be much like the news outlets it is rapidly driving toward irrelevancy: a select group of professionals with vaguely center-left sensibilities. It just happens to be one that poses as a neutral reflection of the vox populi, has the power to influence what billions of users see, and openly discusses whether it should use that power to influence presidential elections.

    “It wasn’t trending news at all,” said the former curator who logged conservative news omissions. “It was an opinion.”

    [Disclosure: Facebook has launched a program that pays publishers, including the New York Times and Buzzfeed, to produce videos for its Facebook Live tool. Gawker Media, Gizmodo’s parent company, recently joined that program.]

    Update: Several hours after this report was published, Gizmodo editors started seeing it as a topic in Facebook’s trending section. Gizmodo’s video was posted under the topic but the “Top Posts” were links to RedState.com and the Faith and Freedom Coalition.



    Update 4:10 p.m. EST: A Facebook spokesperson has issued the following statement to outlets including BuzzFeed and TechCrunch. Facebook has not responded to Gizmodo’s repeated requests for comment.
    “We take allegations of bias very seriously. Facebook is a platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum. Trending Topics shows you the popular topics and hashtags that are being talked about on Facebook. There are rigorous guidelines in place for the review team to ensure consistency and neutrality. These guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives. Nor do they permit the prioritization of one viewpoint over another or one news outlet over another. These guidelines do not prohibit any news outlet from appearing in Trending Topics.”

    Update May 10, 8:50 a.m. EST:
    The following statement was posted by Vice President of Search at Facebook, Tom Stocky, late last night. It was liked by both Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg:

    My team is responsible for Trending Topics, and I want to address today’s reports alleging that Facebook contractors manipulated Trending Topics to suppress stories of interest to conservatives. We take these reports extremely seriously, and have found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true.

    Facebook is a platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum. There are rigorous guidelines in place for the review team to ensure consistency and neutrality. These guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives. Nor do they permit the prioritization of one viewpoint over another or one news outlet over another. These guidelines do not prohibit any news outlet from appearing in Trending Topics.

    Trending Topics is designed to showcase the current conversation happening on Facebook. Popular topics are first surfaced by an algorithm, then audited by review team members to confirm that the topics are in fact trending news in the real world and not, for example, similar-sounding topics or misnomers.

    We are proud that, in 2015, the US election was the most talked-about subject on Facebook, and we want to encourage that robust political discussion from all sides. We have in place strict guidelines for our trending topic reviewers as they audit topics surfaced algorithmically: reviewers are required to accept topics that reflect real world events, and are instructed to disregard junk or duplicate topics, hoaxes, or subjects with insufficient sources. Facebook does not allow or advise our reviewers to systematically discriminate against sources of any ideological origin and we’ve designed our tools to make that technically not feasible. At the same time, our reviewers’ actions are logged and reviewed, and violating our guidelines is a fireable offense.

    There have been other anonymous allegations — for instance that we artificially forced ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ to trend. We looked into that charge and found that it is untrue. We do not insert stories artificially into trending topics, and do not instruct our reviewers to do so. Our guidelines do permit reviewers to take steps to make topics more coherent, such as combining related topics into a single event (such as ‪#‎starwars‬ and‪#‎maythefourthbewithyou‬), to deliver a more integrated experience.

    Our review guidelines for Trending Topics are under constant review, and we will continue to look for improvements. We will also keep looking into any questions about Trending Topics to ensure that people are matched with the stories that are predicted to be the most interesting to them, and to be sure that our methods are as neutral and effective as possible.

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    Avalon Member norman's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    Richie Allen "Facebook Has Kettled The Alternative Media Into A Place Where We Can Be Controlled Easily."
    * Spicy language warning *

    .................................................. my first language is TYPO..............................................

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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    I try to limit my weekly Facebook posts, focusing on what is most useful and edifying for the things me and my closest companions in spirit resonate on. It's very easy to waste time on social media, and it's really not a good format for discussing things in depth either.

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    Ecuador Avalon Member DebJoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    I'm quitting Facebook for several months, probably permanently. As I posted in another thread recently,

    "Take action of correcting what we've already woken up to. I had a dream a while back, and at the end of remembering the dream, this message came through loud and clear, "You're complicit in agreeing to stay asleep when you agree to go along with the insanity"."

    I've woken up to the insanity of Facebook even though I see the some value of activism on Facebook - I'd been active in several groups that had topics/issues/causes that were very important to me and I believe have been instrumental in creating powerful momentum. It was a nice way to stay in touch with many friends, sharing photos and updates, by being able to connect with all of them in one post. However, Facebook can be a time-suck and addictive and attracts too much triviality. The trolls are obnoxious, persistent and they are everywhere spouting idiocy - the infestation is calculated, controlled and paid for. Facebook has become more intrusive into our privacy (did you know that Facebook still collects information about you and your computer activities EVEN by operating in the background when you've signed off Facebook), and exercises inappropriate censorship (many of the groups I follow have been banned from Facebook for 30 days etc. and it's obvious that the only reason is censoring non-preferred communication. Plus it censors inappropriately what actually shows on my feed). And since you are continuing to use Facebook, you are continuing to agree to their "non-privacy" policies - Facebook has revamped many of their privacy (non-privacy) standards in the past, and not notified their users; when they were called on it, their response was simply a "whoops" and they never withdrew their intrusions. Did you know that they have often reset any of your chosen privacy protocols and never notified you?

    Facebook makes you think you are "connected" with people but in many ways you are NOT - it is a mockery of what true connection is. (I could go on regarding this - sad to see people together in a group, not talking with each other, and simply Facebooking/texting. Really?) Facebook's also a large part of MSM, with its aggressive posturing with ads, preferred posting, censorship, etc. I see the effects of the MSM's relentless campaign (including Facebook) against Donald Trump during this past year, and the current hysteria being expressed by so many is strong evidence that their ad (mind control) campaign worked on too many people, who are totally clueless how they are being manipulated.

    So there are pluses and minuses. I could go crazy analyzing it all. Yes, stay for these reasons. No, leave for these reasons. Back and forth I could go.

    But the other day, I had a sudden intuitive urge to leave so I'm leaving. For now. I'll reassess in several months. But give myself plenty of time to detox, and reorder how I communicate online. Project Avalon will be a vital part of that connection. Most of you seem reasonable... And I'll be alert to not substituting one addiction for another - darn, I guess chocolate is off the list (except for some nibbles of that gorgeous, sugar-free dark chocolate we get here in Ecuador).

    I'm collecting my info off of Facebook, connecting with groups/causes by subscribing to their website email notifications, and asking for friends' updated emails. I will also be asking my husband (IT proficient) to go in and remove all the hooks and ways that Facebook is sucking my private information off of my computer / Kindle / phone. And I will ask him to recheck that those insidious hooks are still removed after my next Windows update.

    This thread was started some time ago. I'm very curious where many of you are at now, and get your updates regarding your Facebook participation/non-participation.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    Quote Posted by DebJoy (here)
    Facebook makes you think you are "connected" with people but in many ways you are NOT - it is a mockery of what true connection is.

    Exactly,
    and Amen.

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    Netherlands Avalon Member Eram's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Problems with Facebook

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Quote Posted by DebJoy (here)
    Facebook makes you think you are "connected" with people but in many ways you are NOT - it is a mockery of what true connection is.

    Exactly,
    and Amen.
    Not agreed.

    Facebook, just as this Project avalon website enables people to connect. for real!

    Yes, it is different than real life connections, since you don't smell the sweat, see the subtle body language that transfers about .. I don't know.. 80% of communication between people?, see the clothes that they wear, and all other imput that activate the senses.
    Yet... it is real, just in another fashion.

    On top of that, the way that facebook is set up, combined with the drive that is most dominant in most people, .... it invites for very superficial communications. Still, they are real.

    People connect through the internet in ways that were impossible before.

    In many ways, synthetic telepathy is being born.
    hylozoic tenet: “Consciousness sleeps in the stone, dreams in the plant, awakens in the animal, and becomes self-conscious in man.”

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