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Facebook Takes Down Another Russian-Backed Cluster of Accounts Attempting to Shift US Political Sentiment

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Facebook has announced the detection and removal of another cluster of accounts, backed by Russian-based operators, which had been attempting to run political and issues ads in the United States.

As explained by Facebook:

Today, we removed 49 Facebook accounts, 69 Pages and 85 Instagram accounts for engaging in foreign interference – which is coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign actor – on Facebook, Instagram and other internet platforms. This network was in the early stages of building an audience, and was operated by local nationals – some wittingly and some unwittingly – in Ghana and Nigeria on behalf of individuals in Russia. It targeted primarily the United States.”

Facebook says that it was aided in its detection efforts by CNN, Twitter and Clemson University. Facebook’s Head of Security Policy Nathan Gleicher explained on Twitter how the various groups played a role in the process:

“Many of these teams discovered pieces of this operation independently, and all of us came together to take it down early in its life cycle and as the Russian-IRA-linked actors behind it were still building their audience. We know threat actors will keep trying to run these kinds of operations, but this whole-of-society work is key to stopping them when they do.”

That’s a positive sign for the growing detection and enforcement efforts that have been put in place to halt political interference – as is this note within Facebook’s explanation:

“Less than $5 was spent on ads focused on people in the US, none of which were political or issue ads. Our systems repeatedly rejected attempts by this network to run issue or political ads in the US because the people behind it were not authorized to run political ads in the US.”

That’s a good endorsement of Facebook’s updated process for political and issues ads – which, incidentally, Facebook is rolling out in 32 more regions this month. Many questions have been raised about the viability of Facebook’s efforts to limit the purchase of political ads, but this serves as a good reminder of the worth of such restrictions. Some have suggested that the process can still be subverted, but if Facebook can reduce the use of such by ill-intentioned foreign actors, that’ll be a positive step.

Facebook says that this latest group of accounts, while it was unable to run issues ads, did post content about black history, black excellence and fashion, celebrity gossip, news and events related to famous Americans, and LGBTQ issues. So there was a level of political angling to their content, it just wasn’t overtly political yet, as they were building audience.

With the US Election campaign gaining momentum, you can expect political activist groups to be testing Facebook’s systems, and searching for weaknesses to exploit in order to sway voters. As such, it’s good to see Facebook’s systems working as intended here – and co-ordination between different parties leading to a result. 

Socialmediatoday.com

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Fed-up accountant 'shocked and disappointed' after his Facebook account is taken down again

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Fed-up accountant 'shocked and disappointed' after his Facebook account is taken down again

A fed-up accountant has spoken of his “disappointment” after his Facebook page was taken down AGAIN. Last July, we told how Suleiman Krayem feared …

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Twitter Tests New Quick Boost Option for Tweets

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Twitter Tests New Quick Boost Option for Tweets

Here’s the difficult thing with Twitter no longer having a comms department – now, there’s nowhere to go to confirm info about the app’s latest updates and features, and where each is available, etc.

Case in point – this week, Twitter appears to have launched a new in-stream boost option for tweets, which provides a quick and easy way to promote your tweet without having to launch a full ad campaign.

As you can see in these screenshots, posted by Jonah Manzano (and shared by Matt Navarra), the new boost option would be available direct from a tweet. You’d simply tap through, select a budget, and you would be able to boost your tweet then and there.

Which seems to be new, but also seems familiar.

It’s sort of like Twitter’s Quick Promote option, but an even more streamlined version, with new visuals and a new UI for boosting a tweet direct from the details screen.

Tweet boost

So it does seem like a new addition – but again, with no one at Twitter to ask, it’s hard to confirm detail about the option.

But from what we can tell, this is a new Twitter ad process, which could provide another way to set an objective, a budget, and basic targeting parameters to reach a broader audience in the app.

Which could be good, depending on performance, and there may well be some tweets that you just want to quickly boost and push out to more people, without launching a full campaign.

It could also be a good way for Twitter to bring in a few more ad dollars, and it could be worth experimenting with to see what result you get, based on the simplified launch process.

If it’s available to you. We’d ask Twitter where this is being made available, but we can’t. So maybe you’ll see it in the app, maybe not.

Thus is the enigma of Twitter 2.0.



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Twitter faces lawsuit by advisory firm for $1.9 million in unpaid bills

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Twitter faces lawsuit by advisory firm for $1.9 million in unpaid bills

US-based advisory firm Innisfree M&A Incorporated sued Twitter on Friday in New York State Supreme Court, seeking about $1.9 million compensation for what it says are unpaid bills. Reuters File Photo

New York: US-based advisory firm Innisfree M&A Incorporated sued Twitter on Friday in New York State Supreme Court, seeking about $1.9 million compensation for what it says are unpaid bills after it advised the social media company on its acquisition by Elon Musk last year.

“As of December 23, 2022, Twitter remains in default of its obligations to Innisfree under the agreement in an amount of not less than $1,902,788.03,” the lawsuit said.

Twitter and a lawyer for Innisfree did not respond to queries.

Elon Musk in October closed the $44 billion deal announced in April that year and took over microblogging platform Twitter.

In January 2023, Britain’s Crown Estate, an independent commercial business that manages the property portfolio belonging to the monarchy, said that it had begun court proceedings against Twitter over alleged unpaid rent on its London headquarters.

Advertising spending on Twitter Inc dropped by 71% in December, data from an advertising research firm showed, as top advertisers slashed their spending on the social-media platform after Musk’s takeover.

The banks that had provided $13 billion in financing last year for the Tesla chief executive’s acquisition of Twitter abandoned plans to sell the debt to investors because of uncertainty around the social media company’s fortunes and losses, according to media reports.

Recently, Twitter made its first interest payment on a loan that banks provided to help finance Musk’s purchase of the social media company last year.

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