Op-Ed

Make Facebook Lie Again

Who needs a Russian troll farm like the Internet Research Agency when you've got Facebook perfectly willing to spin your lies for you?

Once again, the Trump re-election campaign is successfully exploiting America's favorite rumor mill to promulgate its mendacity.

And, once again, Facebook is doing little if nothing to stop it.

Here's an example:

There is not a single Democrat in government advocating the repeal of the Second Amendment.

Not one.

Do you know who advocated repealing it?

Donald Trump.

Last year at a meeting with congressional lawmakers, Trump blurted:

“Take the guns first, go through due process second.”

He, of course, waved his hand and pretended it never happened after the National Rifle Association (NRA) reminded him what he was supposed to have said.

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens--a Gerald Ford-appointed Republican--also proposed repealing it.

Here we have two high-profile Republicans--not Democrats--coming right out admitting the "right to keep and bear arms" should disappear.

No Democrats.

Moreover, a recent poll reveals 8% of Republicans want to repeal the Second Amendment.

This Facebook post blatantly violates Facebook's "false or misleading content" clause.

When Popular.info contacted the social media behemoth about it, Facebook changed the post's language and its status to "inactive."

But the fix didn't last long.

Last week the lies returned.

Social media--Facebook especially--helped Donald Trump "win" the presidency in 2016.

And it's poised to do it again as long as we allow it to direct the narrative.

In 2017, Facebook presented Congress 3,000 Russian-purchased ads through 470 phony pages and accounts intended to exploit America’s racial divisions, like this one:

Image credit: The Verge

Facebook said at least $100,000 was spent for this purpose, a mere fraction of its political advertising during the 2016 campaign.

Then it was confirmed Russia used Facebook’s ad targeting system to help Trump carry Wisconsin and Michigan.

According Facebook, the Russian company’s content was served to as many as 150 million people on its platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. It is not clear how many actually saw the content, though.

An example of such an ad was a page titled “Donald Trump America,” which called for “disqualification and removal of Hillary Clinton from the presidential ballot.”

Image credit: Facebook

The $240 ad appeared Facebook users’ feeds almost 35,000 times and was clicked on 6,000 times.

Some ads were purported to have come from Black Lives Matter, like this one:

Image credit: Facebook

Others opposed Black Lives Matter, such as:

Image credit: Facebook

 

The following ad was created for audiences living in Washington, DC interested in Hillary Clinton or the Muslim Brotherhood:

Image credit: Facebook

Some blended anti-Clinton sentiments with religion, like:

 Image credit: Facebook

Image credit: Facebook

Others were just “religious:”

Image credit: Facebook

Image credit: Facebook

Even “Bernie Bros” were targeted.

The following ad “Born Liberal” posted received 1,938 impressions and 222 clicks:

Image credit: Facebook

The following by “LBGT United” resulted in 848 impressions and 54 clicks:

Image credit: Facebook

The day after election day, the page “Black Matters” advertised a “Trump is NOT my president” event in New York City’s Union Square.

Image credit: Facebook

Guns, God. They were all right there for us to “like” and share as the election melee ensued.

No wonder we were at each other’s throats then.

And we still are with troves of evidence about how Russia decided Trump's election by infiltrating our tastes, interests, and biases.

Here we go again.
 
Image credit: Pixabay
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Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, Straight Forward Poetry, The Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to Op-Ed News, Liberal America, and Liberal Nation Rising.

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