Friday , November 27 2020

Targeting Facebook to extreme extremists, marginal movements in Australia is alarming civil shocking fears



"We believe that advertising should be safe and civil and not try to share or discriminate on the basis of what pages people choose to follow or their benefits," said the company.

"We are conducting a review of options targeting on our platform and recently more than 5000 options have been deleted to help prevent misuse.

We are conducting a review of options targeting on our platform and recently more than 5000 options have been deleted to help prevent misuse.

Facebook statement

"Although some of these options are used in legitimate ways of reaching people with an interest in a particular product or service, we believe that reducing the potential risk of misuse is more important.

"We are also doing more to help advertisers understand their obligations under our policies and encourage them to report any inappropriate targeting areas directly in the advertisements interface."

Facebook has been criticized for the role it has played in the political process around the world, with ad targeting tools used by groups that stimulate politics to spread misunderstanding and harassment in countries such as the United States, France and Myanmar.

"It's part of the wider problem that we face, manipulating information through these new platforms and technologies" said Nick Enfield, a linguistics teacher and head of Post-Truth Enterprise University.

Demonstrators set fire on the Place de la Republique after a yellow shirt protest

Demonstrators set fire on the Place de la Republique after a yellow shirt protestCredit:AP Photo / Francois Mori

"The way these technologies allow those who would definitely try to take people to do that."

Facebook targeted tools were used by Russian troll groups to organize two competitive protests in a mosque in Texas in 2016, according to the US parliamentary committee.

In the last 12 months, Facebook has increased its team working on security and security for 30,000 people and has specific information and fake profiles.

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It is very unlikely that any major brands have tried to target Facebook users based on prominent interest in extreme ideologies or marginal conspiracies.

"I would be surprised if my members targeted people based on those terms," ​​said John Broome, chief executive of the Association of National Governors of Australia.

"I'm not sure [heard of anyone doing it]. "

However, Facebook technology allows anyone who sets a page on the platform to promote jobs or buy advertisements that can be shown to highly specific audiences, based on factors such as age, sex and location, as well as "interests" and "behaviors".

The technology of the social media platform reveals "interests" based on pages that users liked and included with which they have engaged.

Facebook advertising is not the subject of blackouts & # 39; during elections, unlike commercial television and radio

As last week, tens of thousands of Facebook users in Australia could be targeted and possibly advertising based on perceived interest in "facade", "opposition to immigration", and other inflammatory terms.

Dr David Glance, director of the Western Australia University of Software Software, said that targeting Facebook was an integral part of a business model, but its equipment had been used by extreme groups to turn civilian harassment online in many parts of & # 39; r world.

"Extreme groups, or people with extreme interests, have been targeted on Facebook in other countries to create social harassment. And targeting Facebook clearly helps to increase conspiracies," he said.

"We've seen this in France recently with the organization & Yellow Chassis. France is currently the case of an absolute basket, and the point of these groups is to target the people of the maiden they believe they will support them, with deformation "

In Australia, Facebook advertising is not the subject of blackouts & # 39; during elections, unlike commercial television and radio.

Last year, and Herald that the Liberal Party had refused to use powerful targeting tools offered by Facebook to political parties during the last Federal election, due to fears when they had broken electoral laws.

The equipment can match users on the social network to electoral registers, and are now being used by both main parties.

Dr Glance said that political parties in Australia could look to emulate techniques used on Facebook overseas.

"Clearly, people like Clive Palmer and Pauline Hanson, or anyone on the borders, could use these tactics on Facebook in Australia," he said.

"All political parties use social media like this. And the question is, what point do you go from communicating to treat?"

John McDuling is the author of business, media and technology for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Jennifer Duke is a media and telecoms journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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