PACIFIC: Facebook’s Nightmare, Revisited

What’s Next: Facebook’s Nightmare, Revisited. The House Intelligence Committee has just released 3,000 Facebook ads that the Russia-based Internet Research Agency ran during and after the 2016 presidential campaign to sow political and cultural discord among US voters.

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They highlight two inconvenient truths:

1. We’re so obvious: Our political divisions have become so ripe and our national discourse so poor that all it takes to exploit our partisan anxieties is a low six-figure ad spend on alarmist, agenda-driven Facebook ads.

2. We’re so vulnerable: Facebook says point-blank that it will never be able to fully prevent foreign meddling on its platform “because we’re up against determined, creative and well-funded adversaries.” This will happen again, in 2018, 2020 and beyond.

My colleague Donie O’Sullivan reviews the ads here. He also notes that Facebook and Google’s handling of ads around Ireland’s recent abortion referendum raise questions about their readiness for 2018 and 2020.

Meanwhile … Bloomberg has found that at least a dozen U.S.-designated terror groups still maintain a presence on Facebook, despite its assurances about taking down terrorist content.

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