US legislator, David Cicilline, joins international push to interrogate platform power

US legislator David Cicilline will be joining the next meeting of the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and ‘Fake News’, it has been announced. The meeting will be held in Dublin on November 7. Chair of the committee, the Irish Fine Gael politician Hildegarde Naughton, announced Cicilline’s inclusion today. The congressman — who is chairman […]

Facebook’s regulation dodge: Let us, or China will

Facebook is leaning on fears of China exporting its authoritarian social values to counter arguments that it should be broken up or slowed down. Its top executives have each claimed that if the U.S. limits its size, blocks its acquisitions or bans its cryptocurrency, Chinese company’s absent these restrictions will win abroad, bringing more power […]

Facebook found hosting masses of far right EU disinformation networks

A multi-month hunt for political disinformation spreading on Facebook in Europe suggests there are concerted efforts to use the platform to spread bogus far right propaganda to millions of voters ahead of a key EU vote which kicks off tomorrow. Following the independent investigation, Facebook has taken down a total of 77 pages and 230 […]

Meet the tech boss, same as the old boss

“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It seems darkly funny, now, that anyone ever dared to dream that tech would be different. But we did, once. We would build new companies in new ways, was the thinking, not like the amoral industrial behemoths of old. The corporate villains of 90s cyberpunk were fresh in […]

Sheryl Sandberg says Facebook is ‘exploring’ restrictions following Christchurch attacks

In an open letter published by the New Zealand Herald, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg finally addressed the shocking mass shootings that left 50 dead at two Christchurch mosques. The first of part of the deadliest mass shooting in modern new Zealand history was live-streamed on Facebook by the attacker. But while the site’s technology was […]

Sheryl Sandberg knew more of Facebook’s work with Definers than she let on

Two weeks after The New York Times revealed Facebook’s controversial work with Republican opposition research firm Definers Public Affairs, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has changed her story in significant ways. The latest revelation: Sandberg herself directed Facebook’s communications team to probe the financial ties of George Soros, left-leaning billionaire and frequent political target of the […]

Internal Facebook memo sees outgoing VP of comms Schrage take blame for hiring Definers

TechCrunch has obtained an internal memo published by Facebook’s outgoing head of public policy Elliot Schrage in which he blames himself for hiring PR firm Definers. He admits to having the company push negative narratives about competitors, but says Facebook did not ask or pay Definers to publish fake news. COO Sheryl Sandberg left a […]

Sheryl Sandberg claims she didn’t know Facebook hired agency behind ‘abhorrent’ anti-Soros campaign

Sheryl Sandberg has denied that she obstructed early investigations into election meddling and claimed that she was unaware Facebook was involved with an agency that ran “abhorrent” anti-Semitic campaigns that targeted George Soros, among others. Facebook, the world’s largest social network, with more than 2.2 billion users, spent Thursday doing its best to fight a media relations forest […]

Zuckerberg denies knowledge of Facebook’s work with GOP opposition research firm

Today in a call with reporters preceded by a frantic if fairly uneventful distraction-pushing media blitz, Facebook responded to a damning New York Times story published yesterday that cited interviews with more than 50 sources privy to Facebook’s decision making. The call kicked off with the operator’s suggestion that Facebook is “happy to take a […]

Facebook’s weapon amid chaos and controversy: misdirection

The New York Times’ bombshell report into the past three years at Facebook paint a grotesque picture of the company’s attempts to navigate a string of high-profile controversies by using unsavory, unethical and dark PR tactics. The Times’ report, citing more than 50 sources, accuses the company of: employing a Republican opposition research firm to […]