Does anyone here believe $100,000 in Russia-funded campaign ads on Facebook is the real problem? I’m not saying transparency isn’t a positive step. But it’s like treating a gunshot victim for his headache. Eating Advil is simpler than trauma surgery, for both the senators and for Facebook. By pushing nearly victimless election transparency rules, the social media companies protect their overall business models and the senators get a quick win (if it passes at all—nothing seems quick or easy in Congress anymore) without upsetting San Francisco’s lobbyists.
The product Facebook sells is you
Ben Wolford
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The advertising rules just scratch the surface of transparency. Take for example the fake news gatekeeping measures Facebook is putting in place with Storyful and Moat. These sound fine:

Working in partnership with the CUNY School of Journalism, the two technology companies will establish a database of dangerous domain names and track the evolution and spread of misinformation and extremism. The OBS framework will evolve to flag signals of both vice and virtue for marketers and advertisers, protecting brand content from fake or extremist news and platforms.

Until you realize the parent company for both project partners is NewsCorp.

Should we trust companies owned by Rupert Murdoch to determine which smaller publishers are credible news sources and which aren’t? Would Heat Street the brainchild of Louise Mensch, owned by NewsCorp via Dow Jones, have passed the sniff test?

“Protecting premium storytelling is near and dear to Storyful and News Corp’s heritage,” Storyful Chief Executive Rahul Chopra said. “This initiative represents a prime opportunity to offer partners safe spaces for their stories. We have to help stop the faux, flawed and fraudulent content creators before they proliferate further.”

Nice of Facebook to give Rupert a safe space.

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