For immediate release | Thursday, November 29, 2018

Zuckerberg’s 99% Myth Exposed: Drip, Drip, Drip as Facebook's Problems Continue

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Facebook Gives More Empty Apologies at International Hearing as Flood Of Controversies Consume Company

On Tuesday, Facebook Vice President for Policy Solutions Richard Allan was grilled before a hearing comprised of nine countries: Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Ireland, Latvia, Singapore, France, Belgium and Britain. Described as a “first-of-its-kind gathering,” the international group of lawmakers had heavily pressed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to attend and answer for Facebook’s role in data privacy breaches, as well as the pervasiveness of fake news and propaganda spread on its platform. Although Mr. Zuckerberg was not able to attend, an empty chair was featured prominently, and Allan answered in his place during the company’s “moment of international accountability.” In fact, it was almost as if Mr. Zuckerberg was there himself, as Collins mainly offered empty, “repeated variations of the same apology,” saying Facebook’s actions damaged public trust and that the company should do better.

For Facebook, this was just the latest controversy that has engulfed the company since The New York Times broke the company’s “Delay, Deny and Deflect” strategy two weeks ago.  In fact, here is just a sampling of the developments that have transpired since then:

  • On November 27, a former employee accused Facebook of “widely fail[ing] to support its black workers and users.”
  • On November 26, Bloomberg reported that COO Sheryl Sandberg was “so brutal to people, no one wants to bring her anything.”
  • On November 24, The Guardian reported that the Parliament of the United Kingdom had seized “internal Facebook documents in an extraordinary attempt to hold the US social media giant to account.”
  • On November 23, Facebook came under fire after allowing posts “discussing the sale of a child bride.”
  • On November 22, the day before Thanksgiving, Facebook joined “a long tradition of companies and campaigns that drop bad news on holidays,” admitting that The New York Times investigation was true after previously denying it.

Lastly, although Facebook continues to assert its artificial intelligence algorithm removes 99 percent of terrorist content online, the unverifiable claim remains little more than window dressing. The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) routinely finds examples of terrorist content available on their website. The ISIS propaganda video “From Darkness to Light,” released via the group’s self-proclaimed Sinai province in Egypt and available for two weeks with over 1,500 views, shows raids on Egyptian military outposts, a suicide vehicle attack and the placing of roadside bombs.  It also includes the killing of wounded Egyptian soldiers, the killing of police officers, the killing of soldiers at roadblocks and three executions. Another video, an unidentified ISIS propaganda clip that shows combat, including shootings, between ISIS and unidentified forces, includes numerous images of corpses and interviews with ISIS fighters.

To read more about this issue and see examples of extremist content, please see the background below. 

EXTREMIST FACEBOOK CONTENT

1. ISIS Video On Facebook For Two Weeks With Over 1,500 Views

  • Located on Facebook: November 28, 2018
  • Time on Facebook: Approximately two weeks
  • 1,500+ views, 183 likes/reacts and 55 shares
  • URL: Link
  • Profile Language: Arabic
  • Description: The ISIS propaganda video “From Darkness to Light,” released via the group’s self-proclaimed Sinai province in Egypt. The video shows raids on Egyptian military outposts, a suicide vehicle attack and the placing of roadside bombs. It also includes the killing of wounded Egyptian soldiers, the killing of police officers, the killing of soldiers at roadblocks and three executions. ISIS accuses the Egyptian government of killing civilians in Sinai and damaging property.

2. ISIS Propaganda Video With Over 1,300 Views On Facebook For One Week

  • Located on Facebook: November 28, 2018
  • Time on Facebook: Approximately one week
  • 1,300+ views, 72 likes/reacts and 28 shares
  • URL: Link
  • Profile Language: Arabic
  • Description: An unidentified ISIS propaganda video that shows combat, including shootings, between ISIS and unidentified forces.  The video also includes numerous images of corpses and interviews with ISIS fighters.  It had several features removed to elude Facebook content reviewers, such as the removal of ISIS logos from the top right of the video, and the removal of the introductory sequence.

3. Pro-ISIS Facebook Page

  • Located on Facebook: November 28, 2018
  • Time on Facebook: Approximately six days
  • 13 likes and 15 follows
  • URL: Link
  • Profile Language: Arabic
  • Description: A pro-ISIS Facebook page titled “The Steadfast Mountains,” the same name as a recently released ISIS video. The page’s profile photo was released with the ISIS video on November 20, 2018, and the header image is from the ISIS video, “Inside the Caliphate 8.” The page includes pro-ISIS propaganda including a video clip that encourages joining ISIS.

4. ISIS Execution Photos On Facebook

  • Located on Facebook: November 28, 2018
  • Time on Facebook: One day
  • 36 likes/reacts
  • URL: Link
  • Profile Language: Arabic
  • Description: ISIS execution photos from Sinai that show the murder of an accused spy. The photo set was originally released on November 26, 2018. The images have been censored by the researcher.

5. ISIS Propaganda Photos On Facebook For Five Days

  • Located on Facebook: November 28, 2018
  • Time on Facebook: Five days
  • 37 likes/reacts and four shares
  • URL: Link
  • Profile Language: Indonesian
  • Description: A Facebook profile that has posted various ISIS propaganda photos and Amaq news graphics.

BACKGROUND

Facebook VP Of Policy Solutions Richard Allan Testified Before Nine Countries On Tuesday. “Officials from nine countries examining Facebook’s business practices have spent weeks trying to get the company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, to face questions at a hearing. On Tuesday in London, Mr. Zuckerberg was represented by an empty chair. He skipped the session, which was organized by a British committee investigating Facebook and the spread of misinformation. In Mr. Zuckerberg’s absence, officials spent more than three hours grilling a Facebook executive who stood in for him, criticizing the company’s influence on democracy, its distribution of false news and its use of personal user data.” (Adam Satariano, “A Hot Seat For Facebook, An Empty Chair For Zuckerberg And A Vow To Share Secret Files,” The New York Times, 11/27/18)