There’s no doubt that by now, unless completely distracted by the modern bread and circuses of food-stamps and football, you’ve heard of the 2016 Russian Facebook, “hacking”. But this isn’t a simple case of straight up collusion, Republican or Democrat. This isn’t a personal information leak or a brute force hacking attack like most security incidents.
Two years ago, Donald John Trump shocked conventional wisdom and became the President of The United States of America. The American people were sick and tired of 8 years of failed policies, undelivered promises, and were willing to take anything that was so off the beaten path it just might work.
But we of course now know that individuals or organizations with Russian IP Addresses, Russian Payment methods, and possibly with the direction of the Russian Government did a few things for sure:
- Created websites that looked like local news outlets, but those outlets were long gone and the “articles” were just inflammatory.
- These websites were heavily advertised using Facebook ad campaigns that were approved by Facebook.
- Since people outside the United States are prohibited by law from buying political ads or contributing to campaigns in any way, either United States citizens helped Russian individuals or organizations buy ads, or
- Russian individuals or organizations may have stolen American Identities to get the ads approved.
- Many fake accounts were found to be on Facebook and controlled by botnets based in Russia.
- Voters were swayed very easily by this psychological warfare.
- Facebook stood to gain a high amount of profit from these ads, and may have known about this problem well before the 2016 General Election. They may have ignored it.
The point is this, and this is what concerns me. Facebook said they have reason to believe this is happening all over again in the 2018 Mid Term elections. Facebook claims they are taking action, but as the saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
We cannot excuse Facebook from this inaction, and the people should demand a new set of laws to ensure the major tech firms are bound to serve the people that use their services. Facebook and other social networks have a responsibility to ensure their platforms aren’t used to commit felonies.
Menn, J. (2018, August 01). Facebook says it identifies campaign to meddle in 2018 U.S. elections. Retrieved September 4, 2018, from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-facebook/facebook-says-it-identifies-campaign-to-meddle-in-2018-u-s-elections-idUSKBN1KL2FG