Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Facebook, You Underwhelm Me

I am officially underwhelmed by Facebook’s gift to me for Christmas. – that’s my gift.

I followed that link and got the following results:

You haven’t liked or followed any pages or accounts from the IRA (Internet Research Agency).

Damn, what’s the return policy on that gift?

Below, there is a link, asking, “is this useful?” There is an old expression I wanted to type, it goes something like “Not no, not hell no, but F no.”

Instead, I wrote something like “No, it’s not useful in the least. Did I access any of their pages? Did I view them?  Did someone share the page with me? What is the general demographic for people that liked, followed, and shared those pages?”

I mean, these are the most important and most discussed Facebook pages – ever – and Facebook is keeping TONS of information on every user – including pages accessed, probably shared pages, etc, and all we get is a perfunctory ‘you didn’t like or follow any of the Internet Research Agency pages’.  That’s like saying “Not guilty your honor, by reason of insanity”, in that it’s a non-plea. Not that I’ve said that ever…

How about an in-depth analysis of ALL pages with an originating IP address in Russia?  You know, where all the edits are from a Russian IP address?  Then see how many of those pages were shared with accounts outside Russia?  Does a pattern emerge?  Is there a concentration in connection with the period just before the US election?  Are the accounts that worked on them also Russian?  Have those accounts been verified as real people and not fakes?  How many of them are fake accounts built by our ‘friends’ at the Internet Research Agency, which was actually called Glavset and still is.

I mean Facebook, c’mon, have you actually put the absolute minimum amount of effort into this research tool and effort?  The billions of dollars you’ve reaped in advertising dollars should incentivize you to find out how Russia actually tried to influence the US during their 2016 election, the 23 June 2016 Brexit vote, the 2017 French Presidential election, the 2017 German election, etc. Wouldn’t it be really neat if “We the people” could actually find out who is trying to influence us and how? Doesn’t Facebook owe its users anything?  Why doesn’t Congress demand these answers?

Why don’t you hire me to run this study for you, Facebook? Congress?

Screenshot from Ukraine

Update: I’ve already received feedback on this feature. It’s not available in Ukraine.  WTF?  If not, why not? In the single most targeted country by Russia in the world, why don’t they have that tool available to them?  Who made that decision and why?   It’s also not available in the Czech Republic.  Damn…

But, dear reader, here is Facebook’s gift to you.  Merry Christmas and bah humbug.