FreeSpeech and Censorship: Thread

grarpamp grarpamp at
Thu Jul 15 02:58:57 PDT 2021

Facebook's own top secret internal CrowdTangle app proved that the US
people wanted say Trump as President, so Facebook led by Mark
Zuckerberg the Censor, simply canceled the app and engaged in a
Massive Censorship campaign purging what the people wanted...

Executives at the social network have clashed over CrowdTangle, a
Facebook-owned data tool that revealed users' high engagement levels
with right-wing media sources.

One day in April, the people behind CrowdTangle, a data analytics tool
owned by Facebook, learned that transparency had limits. Brandon
Silverman, CrowdTangle's co-founder and chief executive, assembled
dozens of employees on a video call to tell them that they were being
broken up. CrowdTangle, which had been running quasi-independently
inside Facebook since being acquired in 2016, was being moved under
the social network's integrity team, the group trying to rid the
platform of misinformation and hate speech. Some CrowdTangle employees
were being reassigned to other divisions, and Mr. Silverman would no
longer be managing the team day to day. The announcement, which left
CrowdTangle's employees in stunned silence, was the result of a
yearlong battle among Facebook executives over data transparency, and
how much the social network should reveal about its inner workings. On
one side were executives, including Mr. Silverman and Brian Boland, a
Facebook vice president in charge of partnerships strategy, who argued
that Facebook should publicly share as much information as possible
about what happens on its platform -- good, bad or ugly.

On the other side were executives, including the company's chief
marketing officer and vice president of analytics, Alex Schultz, who
worried that Facebook was already giving away too much. They argued
that journalists and researchers were using CrowdTangle, a kind of
turbocharged search engine that allows users to analyze Facebook
trends and measure post performance, to dig up information they
considered unhelpful -- showing, for example, that right-wing
commentators like Ben Shapiro and Dan Bongino were getting much more
engagement on their Facebook pages than mainstream news outlets. These
executives argued that Facebook should selectively disclose its own
data in the form of carefully curated reports, rather than handing
outsiders the tools to discover it themselves. Team Selective
Disclosure won, and CrowdTangle and its supporters lost. An internal
battle over data transparency might seem low on the list of worthy
Facebook investigations. But the CrowdTangle story is important,
because it illustrates the way that Facebook's obsession with managing
its reputation often gets in the way of its attempts to clean up its
platform. And it gets to the heart of one of the central tensions
confronting Facebook in the post-Trump era. The company, blamed for
everything from election interference to vaccine hesitancy, badly
wants to rebuild trust with a skeptical public. But the more it shares
about what happens on its platform, the more it risks exposing
uncomfortable truths that could further damage its image.

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