Using Facebook to manipulate opinion

Perhaps not a surprise but it is a reminder that social media is being used by political parties to shape our opinions. And a reminder that alternative media is not a source of news at all.


I wouldn’t trust what the Guardian says either or any in Fleet Street.


I enjoy reading the Guardian online also The Telegraph online when I paid the subscription .
Somewhere in between you get a balanced view


I would certainly take the views of any newspaper with a serious pinch of salt. But if those views stimulate thought - then that’s good. I would also be wary of how newspapers present news stories (news being different from views) to consider what angle they might be promoting.
But where do you seek news if not from newspapers? TV? Please tell me its not via social media.


That is exactly what you are trying to do here isn’t it - attempt to influence the way people source their news?

Any type of forum is a hot bed of views and ‘agendas’ and people will use it as an opportunity to ‘shape’ the way people think - it’s up to every one of us to try to sort the wheat from the chaff, not easy.

As a middle of the road political thinker, without extreme views, i take much of what i read with a huge pinch of salt.


No, its not. I am simply pointing out that social media is particularly vulnerable to groups or parties trying to push an agenda - but not making it clear that they are behind that push. We all know the agendas of different newspapers. Nowhere on the facebook groups about ULEZ was it explained that these were groups set up and managed by the tory party. So this use of social media is dishonest. That’s what I’m highlighting.

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I don’t think the host of a Facebook group can easily control the content users post. Facebook has bots that pick up on various trigger words, but it seems that many are able to get around this because the tech is flawed. For example they recently got into trouble when the official Auschwitz Museum Facebook page had a post flagged/removed by bots for being extremist. On the other hand, I’ve seen posts which should be flagged but aren’t.

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Facebook Says Sorry Its AI Flagged Auschwitz Museum Posts as Offensive

Noor Al-Sibai

19 April 2024·2-min read

Too Late Now

Earlier this month, Facebook’s algorithm flagged 21 posts from the Auschwitz Museum as going against its community standards — and now its parent company Meta is eating crow.

In a Facebook post the Poland-based memorial said that after Meta’s content moderation algorithm moved some of its posts down in the feed over strange claims of violating community standards, the company has apologized, though not directly, for the error.

“We mistakenly sent notices to the Auschwitz Museum that several pieces of content the museum posted had been demoted,” a Meta spokesperson told The Telegraph “In fact, that content does not violate our policies and was never actually demoted. We offer our sincere apologies for the error.”

In an April 12 post the museum announced the erroneous flags and charged the social network with “algorithmic erasure of history.”

“The posts, which serve as tributes to individual victims of Auschwitz, have been unjustly targeted by this platform’s content moderation system and ‘moved lower in the Feed’, citing absurd reasons such as ‘Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity,’ ‘Bullying and Harassment,’ ‘Hate Speech,’ and ‘Violence Incitement,’” the post reads.

Indeed, as screenshots show, none of the posts in question had any such content, instead showing portraits of Auschwitz victims and short descriptions of their lives and identities prior to their murders at the hands of Nazis.


My opinions are totally different from a few years ago, loathe the change but I am now detached from belief and trust, dispassionate.


Exactly my thoughts too Anise.
It’s become so difficult to distinguish what is true and what is fake in the media I have distanced myself from all news outlets and just focus on local issues. Perhaps it’s because as I get older I find the world is too big for me to worry about, and things will change despite my protestations…


[quote=“AnnieS, post:7, topic:103713”]
I don’t think the host of a Facebook group can easily control the content users post.[/quote]
In actual fact that is up to the host / administrator of the group. If the admin wants to curtail discussion in a post or block/remove a post or block a group member that is 100% within their powers as an admin. Set up a group and see for yourself.

I’m curious…
I have been on FB since about 2005…
I have never, ever had a “news feed”, or seen any such thing…
Of course, I don’t go to/ use my “page” (whatever that is), and my security settings and preferences are locked down tight
I join groups that are about things I have an interest in, and these groups are “private”, you have to ask to join…
I just see the “feeds” of the groups I am in, none of which are related to politics or pop culture…so…maybe that is why…

It depends on the host as to how much time effort they can devote to reading every single post. Bots should really be picking up these days, but as I mentioned bots have flawed tech which relies on how intuitive their programming is.

You are of course right - its down to the admin / moderator and the level of control and amount of effort they are prepared to make. The issue with these anti-ULEZ groups, set up by tory party workers, was that the posts fast moved into racist and Islamophobic comments. You can see the connection with Sadiq Khan as the mayor who implemented the ULEZ policy. (As opposed to the fat, white, blond, lying mayor who instigated ULEZ.) Responsible moderation would have removed such offensive posts. Nasty tory workers who ran these groups seem to be happy with such racist posts.
Bots, algorithms and tech have nothing to do with this tory party behaviour.