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In doing so, Facebook demonstrated its increased willingness to wade into the thorny territory of policing domestic political activity. Some of the accounts had been in existence for years, had amassed millions of followers, and professed support for canada goose outlet online store conservative or liberal ideas, such as one page that billed itself as “the first publication to endorse President Donald J. midterm elections.

But Facebook only named five of the hundreds of pages it removed. Two of the page operators said that they were legitimate political activists, not profit driven operators of clickbait “ad farms,” as Facebook claimed in a blog post. They said were still unsure which Facebook rules canada goose outlet black friday sale they had violated canada goose outlet toronto or why they had been singled out for behavior that is standard in online organizing.

canada goose uk black friday “I would gladly abide by Facebook’s terms if I understood what they were,” said Chris Metcalf, the publisher of the left leaning “Reasonable People Unite” which was shut down along with eight additional Facebook pages, which he said had a total of 2.25 million followers. “I am a legitimate political activist. I don’t have a clickbait blog. I don’t have a fake news website. And canada goose outlet website legit I haven’t been doing anything that all the other pages in this space aren’t doing.” canada goose uk black friday

In its post, Facebook described the pages, with names canada goose outlet london uk like “Nation in Distress” and “Reverb Press,” as largely domestic actors using clickbait headlines and other spam tactics to drive users to websites where they could target them with ads. The company said it was not taking issue with the nature of the content posted by the pages, but with the behaviors of the accounts, which used inappropriate tactics to artificially inflate their influence. Some of the pages and accounts had millions of followers.

Facebook said it shut down the accounts for having “consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.” “People will only share on Facebook if they feel safe and trust the connections they make here.”

Facebook for years canada goose sale uk has tried to squeeze spam and clickbait from its platform because it can irritate users. But Facebook has usually applied a softer punishment, downranking the sites in its newsfeed so fewer people see them canada goose outlet store uk but not shutting them down altogether. presidential election, the company has been on a crusade to demonstrate that its platform won’t be used to disrupt the democratic process. False information peddled by foreign actors was clear cut manipulation. But the same content, when spread by domestic actors, could be considered free canada goose coats uk speech and a crackdown on it would be contrary to a principle social media embraces.

Canada Goose Parka At stake is the company’s future ability to operate with minimal government scrutiny: Prominent Republican and Democratic politicians now say Facebook should be regulated more heavily if it cannot control a growing list of abuses, including foreign meddling, the spread of misleading news and if it abuses its power to censor, as conservatives have repeatedly alleged. Canada Goose Parka

Canada Goose Coats On Sale Facebook has long struggled with where to draw lines around domestic content. After the 2016 election, company executives declined to purge thousands of misleading pages for fear that doing so canada goose outlet miami would alienate conservatives, according to two people familiar with the discussions. Canada Goose Coats On Sale

buy canada goose jacket cheap “It is totally reasonable for companies to say if you abuse our mechanisms, we will punish you, even if the individual content is okay,” said Alex Stamos, who resigned as Facebook’s chief security officer this summer and is now an adjunct professor at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and a Hoover Fellow. “Facebook first reduced the ability to use ads to punish extreme canada goose outlet official content. Now they are attacking organic recommendation systems, such as the canada goose outlet michigan likes and shares used to artificially inflate posts.” buy canada goose jacket cheap

canada goose store Facebook was “changing the rules as they went,” said James Reader, who helped found Reverb Press in 2014. Reader, who calls himself a progressive, said Facebook’s actions were also unfair to canada goose outlet usa the conservative sites that were taken down. “This is what the First Amendment is all about. It should be a fair, equal playing field, that’s all we ever asked canada goose outlet in uk for.” canada goose store

The challenge of policing domestic content is even trickier than going after foreign interference because many including Facebook itself question whether Facebook should be in the role of deciding what constitutes legitimate political expression to begin with. By removing the groups entirely, Facebook is eliminating any opportunity to redeem themselves and is curtailing their speech for good.

cheap canada goose uk The issue arose earlier this summer, when Facebook took down several dozen pages run by Russian operatives. But those operatives had built ties to unsuspecting legitimate activists, whose ability to organize was squashed when Facebook removed their groups as well. cheap canada goose uk

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The domestic pages and accounts Facebook removed Thursday had a strong political bent. Nation In Distress, which claimed to be the early Trump supporter, recently shared a link to a story that had called Rep. Maxine Waters “demented.” Founded in 2012, it had amassed more than 3.2 million likes and over 3 million followers, as of Thursday morning, before it was taken down. The page linked in its “about” section to a website called “America’s Freedom Fighters,” which posted content and duplicated press releases that appeared to be written by others about violent crimes and gun rights all alongside canada goose outlet toronto location a sidebar of ads. An administrator for the site canada goose outlet canada goose outlet black friday declined to comment.

canada goose coats on sale On the opposite end of the political spectrum, Reverb Press posted attacks on President Trump and referred to Republicans as “cheating scumbags” to its over 700,000 followers. A second left leaning page, Reasonable People Unite, posted a screenshot from a Twitter user who said, “Somewhere in America, a teenage girl is listening to her parents defend canada goose outlet buffalo Brett Kavanaugh and she is thinking to herself, if something like that happens to me, I have nowhere to go.” canada goose coats on sale

canada goose coats Experts said that some of the groups used unscrupulous methods to inflate their traffic. Researcher Jonathan Albright said that Facebook is simply catching up to operations that attempt to boost their reach and game its service for canada goose outlet store montreal profit or ideological reasons. canada goose coats

Canada Goose Outlet Both operators contacted by the Post said they had used multiple Facebook profiles, which violates Facebook’s policies. They said they did so in part to avoid what they perceived as an arbitrary crackdown on their organizing by the social network. Canada Goose Outlet

Reasonable People Unite’s Metcalf, a 36 year old graphic designer in Columbus, Ohio, said in an interview that he launched his first Facebook page in late 2015. He began to connect with other left leaning organizers, and they developed a system of aggressively promoting one another’s content. The techniques were so successful that he created eight other pages, which together generated 80 to 100 million likes, clicks, canada goose outlet las vegas shares, and comments each month.

canada goose uk shop He said that most of the news that he shared came from mainstream news organizations, such as the Washington Post, The New York Times and the online magazine Slate. Occasionally the posts would get flagged for spam, he said, which he didn’t understand because he was sharing news stories. canada goose uk shop

Metcalf said Facebook’s policies against “coordinated inauthentic behavior” were “insanely arbitrary” and that profit was not his primary canada goose outlet near me motive. “The problem with the language is that every page in canada goose factory outlet vancouver this space coordinates with others, and everyone has shared content for profit. It’s insane to say you can’t make money,” he said. He added that Facebook had also removed his wife’s Facebook account, canada goose outlet uk sale and that she now doesn’t have a way to contact many far flung family and friends.

canadian goose jacket At its peak, the progressive leaning Reverb Press had a team of editors and attracted between 4 to 5 million visitors a month online driven in large part by Facebook, said Reader. A page for Reverb Press and another affiliated with it, and two owned by Reader personally, were shut down Thursday. Many of the stories canada goose outlet niagara falls that appear on the Reverb Press website, which remains active, have been aggregated from other sources. canadian goose jacket

Beginning in late 2016, Facebook’s changes to its platform severely depleted traffic to Reverb Press, Reader said, rendering it increasingly difficult to reach even existing fans.

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