back to article Jeez, not now, Iran... Facebook catches Mid East nation running trolly US, UK politics ads

Facebook, the antisocial advertising platform on which anyone can promote just about anything, on Friday said it found people promoting political discord in the US and UK, yet again. Russia doesn't appear to be involved this time. In the latest round of Whac-A-Troll, the data harvesting site said it removed 82 Facebook Pages, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those two examples displayed in the article text

    Errr, how are the Iranians "promoting discord"?

    I quite like The Donald (only because I don't live in the USA and in so many respects he's great entertainment), but it is a matter of record that on every mainstream survey he is the most hated president on record.

    Likewise, we only have to look at ANY aspect of US politics (and most countries) to know that lobbying is a legalised form of bribery.

    Presumably Facebook have concluded that who says something defines truth, compared to what they say.

    1. onefang Silver badge

      Re: Those two examples displayed in the article text

      "I quite like The Donald"

      I have no idea of the accuracy of that example. I don't know enough about all the other USA presidents. On the other hand, it says "PRESIDENT", and though it mentions "AMERICAN HISTORY", it's not specific that it means "USA PRESIDENT". There are likely much worse and much more hated presidents of other countries, even of some other American countries.

      "Likewise, we only have to look at ANY aspect of US politics (and most countries) to know that lobbying is a legalised form of bribery."

      Certainly applies to my country of Australia. So yeah, lots of truth in that one.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Those two examples displayed in the article text

        "I have no idea of the accuracy of that example. I don't know enough about all the other USA presidents. On the other hand, it says "PRESIDENT", and though it mentions "AMERICAN HISTORY", it's not specific that it means "USA PRESIDENT". There are likely much worse and much more hated presidents of other countries, even of some other American countries."

        That sounds like lawyer-logic :-)

    2. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Those two examples displayed in the article text

      " but it is a matter of record that on every mainstream survey he is the most hated president on record."

      That depends on the survey, in a few of the mainstream survey he has been more popular then Obama was at the same point of his presidency.

  2. BrownishMonstr

    Whose interest does Facebook act in? If, say, the US spread FAKE NEWS (you must capitalise it these days), would Facebook act in good faith or leave it be?

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Such as?

      The claims that Iraq had WMDs was a lie, but that wasn't known for sure until it was too late. I don't think anyone would suggest that anyone sharing links to news articles "US claims Iraq has WMDs as justification for war" should have been removed in 2003 (if Facebook had existed then) since whether it is fake news or not couldn't have been judged at that time.

      Even then, "US claims blah" is still true even if blah is 100% false. Like it or not, if the US spreads fake news that's still newsworthy to the rest of the world - if for no other reason than that the US would be doing so as part of a larger agenda. If you're about to be on the wrong end of that agenda, you probably want some advance notice.

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: Such as?

        Just how many tons of chemical weapons does it take to qualify as having WMDs? As I recall, we found eight tons at a single location.

        And I've personally spoke with a service member who said their chem alarms triggered multiple times during operations in Iraq.

        No, we did not capture the German-built mobile nuke labs. (Smart money was that they moved to Syria during the buildup.) If they actually had nuclear material in them. But WMD is not the same as "nukes", or we would not have used the broader term.

    2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Quis custodiet ipsos faciem-libro?

      Whose interest does Facebook act in?

      It's own.

  3. Jay Lenovo Silver badge
    Angel

    Security - Now Hiring

    "Facebook's ballooning safety and security group, now at about 20,000 people"

    Wow, that is slightly larger than the number of people on the US Border Patrol.

    ...Too bad both jobs are restrained in being too effective.

    1. frank ly

      Re: Security - Now Hiring

      I had a mental image of hot air balloons and weather balloons being hijacked and ......... nevermind.

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Interesting and disheartening to say the least.

    It's very disturbing that too many voters put their faith in ads, various propaganda sites, etc. and do no real fact checking for themselves. Follow the herd mentality in action, both media and voters. Yes, it takes some time to do some research like past voting history of the candidate, etc. But we'd be far better off if there was no political advertising at this point. It's turned into a giant urinating contest as to who's the "worst" candidate for the job.

  5. onefang Silver badge

    After all that commentarding about the trolley problem in another article, I was wondering if Iran was trying to figure out if it should let the trolley run over USA or UK.

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge

    More useless Silly Valley algorithm crap

    You can set the paid by tag to be anything so what's the point of it?

    Facebook and the rest are going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming into having real people sell and validate political advertising. I don't think that's going too happen under the current regime.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    I agree with both those pics

    If it takes Iranians to tell the truth to Americans, so be it.

  8. PhilipJ

    so where's the misinformation?

    Both pictures are spot on.

    Maybe the money should be passed over the table not under it - super PACs are surprisingly completely legal.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: so where's the misinformation?

      The misinformation IS Facebook - they are clearly fake accounts because they never post any pictures of what they eat ... isn't that the way it works?

      My issue with Facebook is that it allows any idiot to shout out in public amplified by other idiots and thus drowning out sane and reasoned discussion backed by evidence and research.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    let me see?

    not on Facebook? Tick

    Run Adblocker? Tick

    Likelyhood of being influenced positively by an advert? <1%

    Phew... Got out of that one then...

    Yours,

    Grumpy Old Man from Tunbridge Wells

    /s

  10. martinusher Silver badge

    Anyone heard of Dark Money and SuperPACs?

    This kind of thing is silly to the point of being puerile. American politics is dominated by large amounts of money washing around SuperPACs, money that's not regulated and which our beloved Supreme Court has ruled is OK to keep its source secret.

    So we can have gobs of money washing around SuperPACs, we can spend freely on influencing others' elections but Heaven Help Us is someone spends $100 on a Facebook ad.....its the End Of Democracy As We Know It.

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