Facebook deletes fake profiles

Facebook has deleted 32 purportedly fake pages and accounts in an attempt to prevent manipulation in the run-up to the US midterm elections. The origin of the pages remains unclear. The social network compared the process with the presumed Russian interference in the US presidential elections in 2016. Can FB get the problem under control?

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Polityka (PL) /

No simple solutions

The whole problem is very tricky to tackle, Polityka comments:

“Erasing 32 accounts won't solve the problem of fake news and Russia's interference in American political processes. It's more like a symbolic gesture with the goal of improving Facebook's image. To truly eliminate the problem all the major social media would have to work together, including the Twitter platform, which is the one where it's most difficult to verify the authenticity of the monitored accounts. In practice such actions are risky - attempts to have companies or politicians moderate the debate could easily be construed as restricting freedom of expression and a loss of basic freedoms.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Russia's dirty deeds will be copied

No wonder new attempts to manipulate politics through Facebook are coming to light, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung writes:

“The price Moscow has had to pay for its interference [in the US elections in 2016] has been rather small so far. To prevent the whole thing from being repeated, the US president would have to support the efforts of the special investigators and the intelligence agencies. Only once all the pieces of the puzzle are lying on the table will the full extent of Russia's interference be revealed, and only then can the appropriate action be taken. If this action is not taken, other countries will use 2016 as an example of how to influence politics in the US. Perhaps they already have.”

The Times (GB) /

Social media destroying debate

Columnist Hugo Rifkind highlights a fundamental problem with social media in The Times:

“Whether or not anyone has used social media to do anything politically malign - be it Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, or Nick Clegg, Tony Blair and George Soros cackling together inside a hollowed-out mountain HQ - is a secondary issue. The primary issue is our drift into a world where we simply cannot know. The great public conversation itself has been usurped by an almost infinite number of hidden private ones. This, in a small nutshell, is the big problem.”