Technology

A Facebook loophole is allowing politicians around the world to fake support and criticize opponents

A Facebook loophole is allowing politicians around the world to fake support and criticize opponents
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Governments and politicians around the world are using a loophole in how Facebook polices inauthentic activity to fake popular support and harass opponents.

An investigation from The Guardian based on internal documents and the testimony of a former Facebook data scientist, Sophie Zhang, shows how the company selectively chooses to take action on this activity. Facebook moves swiftly to deal with coordinated campaigns to sway politics in wealthy countries like the US, South Korea, and Taiwan, while it de-prioritizes or simply ignores reports of similar activity in poorer nations like Afghanistan, Iraq, Mexico, and much of Latin America.

“There is a lot of harm being done on Facebook that is not being responded to because it is not…

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