Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook HAS been filtering out left-wing news. Is it time to check your settings? 

Facebook: presumably, all the silhouetted people here have been cut off from the left-wing news-related articles they wanted to read and are wandering aimlessly in search of them. Isn’t it time this interference was ended?

The social media platform Facebook has confirmed that it knowingly changed its news algorithms to filter out sites like Vox Political from your feeds.

The claim is that this was in response to pressure from right-wingers who claimed that they were being victimised.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, Mark Zuckerberg.

This lopsided treatment appears to have continued: SKWAWKBOX readers have reported posts they have shared disappearing from their newsfeeds, ‘see first’ settings disappearing in spite of repeated attempts to prioritise the page’s updates and other anomalies when they try to view or share news.

If you get your links to articles by This Site, or Skwawkbox, or The Canary, or any of the other left-wing sites via Facebook, it seems now would be a good time to check that the system hasn’t messed with your preference settings.

Alternatively, why not cut out the middle man altogether?

In the right-hand column of this page (if you’re using a computer) there’s a section marked “SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL”. It’s easy to use and won’t take more than a minute of your time.

Then you can be sure of receiving the articles you want to see. Isn’t that better than letting some faceless Facebook fascist separate you from what you want to see?

Source: Confirmed: Facebook changed its system to filter out left news from user feeds while leaving right untouched – SKWAWKBOX

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The Conservatives are using Facebook to recruit racists

Can there be any other interpretation of this Tory campaign to build support in constituencies where the Labour MP has only a small majority?

They have been using Facebook’s facility to provide targeted – and therefore under-the-radar – advertising to attract voters in 19 Labour marginals.

And the line they have taken is hatred of foreigners.

We should not be surprised. It comes from the party that gave us racist vans telling people of foreign descent to “go home” in 2013, and followed it up with the Windrush scandal that is still rumbling on, two years after it was revealed.

Now they are stirring up offence at Labour MPs in Bedford, Coventry, Warwick, Newport and elsewhere by highlighting their opposition to the Tories’ Immigration Bill at the start of the month.

But they aren’t doing it honestly. Their campaign doesn’t say, “Your MP opposes our restrictions on care workers.” That would be honest.

Bear this in mind:

A study by the organisation First Draft which fact-checked Conservative targeted Facebook ads at the general election found that 88 per cent of them were misleading or dishonest, compared to none for opposition parties.

No – the Tory campaign says, “Your MP just voted against ending free movement.”

It shows how brainwashed some of the UK’s racists have become. They think ending free movement between nations is a good idea because it stops foreigners from coming to the UK and don’t spare a second’s thought for the fact that it means they can’t easily go abroad, either.

The Tory ads go on to engage interested racists in a data collection exercise that asks them to fill in a survey that even the Independent describes as “spurious”, with questions like, “Do you support strengthening our immigration system?”

The fact is that our immigration system no longer needs strengthening as there is now little reason for anybody to want to come to our used-up and ruined civilisation.

Would you want to come to work in a country where the jobs don’t pay and you’re subjected to racist abuse every day of your life?

Even education is a no-no nowadays, as even the biggest of our universities are finding. Who would want to educate themselves at the same place that produced prime muttonhead Boris Johnson?

But that won’t occur to the racists being targeted by the Tories as – at least in the educated opinion of This Writer – racists are simply not intelligent enough to think about this issues.

So we can see where this is leading.

The Tories will use their ad campaign – costing how much, I wonder? – to build up a database of useful idiots.

Then, when there’s an election, they’ll start sending these allies targeted messages, weighted to cause the maximum resentment of their Labour representatives.

This will be calculated to go viral, with these people mentioning the attack lines to their mates at work, online and even in the pub if it’s fully open by then (but nobody will mention the restriction being due to Tory idiocy).

The intended result is obvious: Labour loses those constituencies at the next election.

And what is Labour doing about it?

Under Keir Starmer, that party has stopped advertising on Facebook altogether – in an attempt at solidarity with Black Lives Matter after the social media platform was accused of failing to do enough to remove hate speech and racism, and after Starmer was caught badmouthing the anti-racist movement.

Good going, Clueless Keir!

On the other hand, the new New Labour leader has launched a social media campaign claiming that the party is “Under New Management” in a betrayal of all the socialist party members to whom he promised to continue the popular policies of Jeremy Corbyn.

He probably expected it to soar but it has sunk like a ton of bricks:

And what are we to conclude?

Simply this:

Labour under Keir Starmer will give constituencies away to the Tories because he is too busy chasing away his core support to fight their lies.

Source: Tories running targeted anti-immigration ad campaign against Labour MPs in marginal seats | The Independent

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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After the report, the backlash: Facebook bans posts on Vox Political page due to vexatious complaint

In context: The image that Facebook said showed support for “dangerous individuals or organisations”. Do you think that’s what it does?

This is utterly despicable.

After This Site’s article on the Labour Party’s 851-page report into the way anti-Semitism complaints weren’t investigated by a right-wing team – whose factional opoposition of Jeremy Corbyn led them to do nothing in a bid to make him look incompetent, Facebook has banned This Writer from posting on the Vox Political page hosted by that platform.

But get this – it isn’t because of the link to my article about the Labour report. No, it’s because someone complained about an article I published nearly four years ago.

I received the following message today:

“You can’t post or comment for 30 days
“This is because you previously posted something that didn’t follow our Community Standards.

“Vox Political
“14 September 2016 ·

“Suspension of Attlee’s nephew proves Labour’s ‘compliance team’ does not understand satire http://wp.me/p4Sru1-6AR

How we make decisions

“We use either technology or a review team to remove anything that doesn’t follow our standards as quickly as possible.

“We use the same Community Standards around the world for everyone on Facebook.

“Different regions of the world have their own review teams trained on the standards.

“We don’t allow symbols, praise or support of dangerous individuals or organisations on Facebook.

“We define dangerous as things such as:

• Terrorist activity
• Organised hate
• Mass or serial murder
• Human trafficking
• Organised violence or criminal activity

“Because your post goes against our Community Standards on dangerous individuals and organisations, only people who manage Vox Political can see it.

Accept Decision
“You won’t be able to request a review and we’ll update other people who manage Vox Political.

Disagree with decision
“We use your feedback to make improvements on future decisions.

“We usually offer the chance to request a review, and follow up if we got decisions wrong.

“We have fewer reviewers available at the moment because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We’re trying hard to prioritise reviewing content with the most potential for harm.

“This means we may not be able to follow up with you, but your feedback will help us do better in the future.

Thank you for understanding.

I didn’t understand – and I told them so in no uncertain terms:

“Your Community Standards system has stopped working properly.

“Its team has banned me from posting on my page Vox Political because of a link I posted on September 14, 2016: : Suspension of Attlee’s nephew proves Labour’s ‘compliance team’ does not understand satire http://wp.me/p4Sru1-6AR

“I believe the decision was based on the image accompanying the link, which was the image that had led to Clement Attlee’s nephew’s suspension. If I am right then it shows your community standards team has no understanding of satire either.

“The claim is that, in posting it, I am showing praise for dangerous individuals or organisations but this is nonsense.

“The image is a commentary on then-UK prime minister David Cameron. It depicts him as Adolf Hitler, and quotes Hitler saying the best way to remove people’s rights is piecemeal, because then they do not realise their rights have been removed until the time they could successfully get them back is long past. It was a comment on Mr Cameron’s policies at the time and was an expression of opposition to those policies – not of support for either him or Hitler (who I suspect was the “dangerous individual or organisation” implied in your notice banning me from posting.

“I supply a screenshot of the image, in its place in the article. Clearly your Community Standards team never bothered to visit the article or read it, as this would have made the matter perfectly clear.

“Please restore my ability to post to my page IMMEDIATELY and explain why you allow your Community Standards team to ban people from posting on their pages on the basis of such poor evidence-gathering, which is utterly unacceptable from an organisation that claims to act responsibly.

“As the article that appears to have caused the offence is now nearly four years old, I am guessing that Facebook must have received a complaint about it. Who issued that complaint? Will you be taking action against them, or at least refusing to accept any further vexatious complaints from them?”

I note that Labour’s report (The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014-2019) states on page 847: “Currently, half of all antisemitism complaints the Labour Party receives come from one individual, who is trawling social media for evidence.”

I wonder if the complaint to Facebook originated with the same individual.

Interestingly, Labour’s report appears to describe this individual as one “who is highly abusive towards Party staff and Party members and submits large numbers of poorly formatted and poorly evidenced complaints”. The report’s author then tries to make it seem praiseworthy that Labour is giving such a deranged individual the time of day.

If the complaints are similar to this, both Labour and Facebook should not only refuse to countenance any further correspondence from this individual, but should name and shame that person – to ensure they cannot spread their poison any further.

Who is it, Labour? Who is it, Facebook? Tell us now.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Trump trade war threat over tax shows the drawbacks of globalisation

A family at war? They may look and act the same, but that doesn’t mean Donald Trump won’t attack Boris Johnson if he feels like it [Composite: Laura Tisdale/Twitter].

This is awkward, with Boris Johnson desperate to get a trade deal between the UK and the USA.

Donald Trump is threatening reprisals if Johnson goes ahead with a plan to tax US tech corporations like Google and Facebook on profits they make from UK customers.

This Writer understands that it is possible to prevent foreign tech companies from operating in the UK – don’t China and North Korea do this?

But if the UK did this, then the US government could impose crippling sanctions on this country.

The simple fact is that Trump has Johnson over a barrel.

And where Trump goes, others will follow. The loss to the UK’s tax take must be staggering.

And it’s all in line with Conservative economic policy.

Ever since Thatcher, Tories have demanded that businesses across the world must be able to operate across the world if they can, but must be allowed to operate from the country of their choice.

And that’s where they are taxed.

I suppose the answer was to demand that these multinationals set up subsidiaries in the countries where they operated. But wasn’t that the situation before Thatcherism?

It seems the Tories deliberately harmed the UK economy with this policy.

Can anybody explain the thinking that supported this economic disaster?

Source: Trump administration threatens trade war with UK over digital tax plan | The Independent

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Want to know why the media – and the Tories – are lying so hard about Labour and Corbyn? Watch this

Have you wondered why the Establishment – the mass media in step with the Conservative government and the suits behind them both – is so desperate to smear Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite (or whatever they’re saying today) and Labour as unfit for government?

It’s because they have a lot to lose if a government is elected that will end the exploitation of the wider public and the domination of industry and the economy by a tiny few billionaires.

All of this is laid out in a very short film.

The Deep State has been made by Flying Tiger Productions and is available to view – free – on Facebook.

See for yourself – here it is:

The Canary has described it as follows:

“This important film exposes how the establishment uses the mainstream media, smears and deception to stay in power. The complex web of lies and misdirection they weave has been expertly unpicked and laid bare by our friends at Flying Tiger Productions. Please watch and share widely.”

Yes – please watch and share widely.

Unless, of course, you enjoy having blinkers pulled over your eyes and wool stuffed into your ears by liars.

Your choice. But bear in mind that you have until Thursday to decide whether to change the UK for the better, or leave it to get worse.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Facebook cancels Tory advert that faked a news story

Remember the advert for the Conservative Party on Facebook, mentioned on This Site, that included a ‘doctored’ BBC News headline?

Facebook has removed it from circulation.

But the advert is to remain ‘on file’ as an example of how the platform is “misused”.

Before being deactivated the adverts received between 222,000 and 510,000 views – part of the £250,000 of advertising the party has run on the site across the last year.

A spokesperson told the BBC the advert would be kept as an example in their ad library so “people can see how our tools were misused”.

This is bad news for the Conservative Party, as the social media platform’s decision means it will be harder for the Tories to hoodwink the public in the future.

Source: Conservative Party have advert removed by Facebook for putting a fake headline on a BBC news story | The Independent

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Tories accused of changing BBC headline to mislead the public. Quelle surprise!


It is remarkable that the Conservative government felt the need to ‘doctor’ a BBC News article, apparently because it wasn’t complimentary enough.

The BBC, as we all know, might as well changes its name to “Conservative Party Propaganda Unit”. You only have to look at Fiona Bruce’s sickening fawning towards Brandon Lewis on Question Time to see that.

But altering a news story to present a false impression to the public is unforgivable.

This is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.

But then, the Conservatives are led by a known liar – Boris Johnson.

Interestingly, the lie was perpetrated on Facebook, which has an ongoing drive to eliminate ‘fake news’ – headed by former Liberal Democrat leader (and Coalition collaborator with the Tories) Nick Clegg. Will he penalise his former colleagues? Will he even notice what they’ve done?

You cannot expect better from these people – but you can certainly count on matters becoming worse.

The Conservative Party has been accused of running “misleading” adverts on Facebook after appearing to manipulate a BBC News article to promote Boris Johnson’s education policy.

Adverts paid for by the party featured an article on school funding that had had its headline altered to read “£14 billion pound cash boost for schools”. The original article was headlined “School spending: Multi-billion pound cash boost announced”.

The £14bn figure used by No 10 has been criticised because it relates to the combined spending increase across several years, rather than per year.

Source: Tories accused of running ‘misleading’ Facebook advert after altering BBC headline about Boris Johnson’s education policy | The Independent

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Law to block “no deal” Brexit has Royal Assent. Did BoJob just splurge thousands on a duff ad campaign?

Ready for an extension? The Conservatives have been flooding the social media with “Get ready for Brexit” adverts – but was this a lie?

The Queen has given Royal Assent to a backbench law barring the government from taking the UK out of the European Union without a withdrawal agreement that has been approved by Parliament.

This means that, if Boris Johnson fails to negotiate such a deal before October 19, he will have to beg the EU for an extension in which an agreement can be hammered out. The law even provides the text of the letter, to ensure that Mr Johnson sticks to the intention – as well as the letter – of this law.

And this creates an interesting issue, because the Tory government has been flooding the media with adverts insisting that we need to “Get Ready for Brexit” on October 31.

Here‘s The Guardian:

The government has spent tens of thousands of pounds in recent days on adverts promising “Brexit is happening” on 31 October, despite increasing uncertainty over whether it actually will, PA Media reports.

Figures from Facebook showed the government had paid out £30,531 on the targeted posts in the five days since they were launched on 4 September – the same week MPs voted to block a no-deal departure.

The adverts point to information for businesses and members of the public on how to prepare for the planned exit on Halloween.

It might have been better for Mr Johnson to prepare for the planned exit on Hallowe’en – but we understand that the EU hasn’t heard a word from him.

Those adverts started going out on September 4, the day the Commons voted to approve the anti-“no deal” Act. So there’s no way the Tories can say they didn’t know it was coming.

So this raises a major question:

Did the Conservatives irresponsibly waste tens of thousands of pounds on a lie?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Tory ‘chicken’ image breaks Facebook rules. Where’s the slapdown?

An insulting visual comparison between Jeremy Corbyn and a chicken has not only led to the Conservative Party being “owned” by Kentucky Fried Chicken – it broke Facebook rules when the party posted it there.

Read the following, from a post on the Political Provocateur Plus Facebook page:

They demand their rights, and in that right is the desire to post images of Mr Corbyn in a chicken suit which they super imposed to create a meme, and in doing that they couldn’t even tag it to say it was fake or spoof which Full Fact all but demands. The failure to provide this ‘description’ is against FB Policy, which is:

”Policy (rule 2)

“Pages, groups and events must not impersonate or falsely represent a brand, entity or public figure. Where a Page, group or event is being used to express support for or interest in a brand, entity or public figure, it must make clear in the name or description that it is not an official representation.”

Effectively, the Conservative party have gone against FB regulations.

What are FULL FACT and FULL FACT NI going to do about it?

”Inaccurately tagged content – (Rule 4)

“Pages, groups and events must not inaccurately tag content or encourage users to inaccurately tag content.”

Government pushed through legislation that sought to regulate social media. It wasn’t the Labour Party, or the Green Party for example….And now they are getting away with posting content that goes against the very regulations that they helped create, it’s absolute hypocrisy.

Clearly this is one rule for them, and another for everyone else.

This Writer understands that the organisation that checks Facebook for this kind of thing, Full Fact, and was set up by a Conservative Party donor.

TruePublica has investigated it, and you can read the article – and Full Fact’s response – here.

The organisation was labelled “Faux Fact” in 2012 after being found to be misleading and showing “aggressive bias”.

Will it find against the Conservative Party for this apparently flagrant breach of Facebook rules?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Health Warning: Government! is now available
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This social media monopoly is censoring what you see

I was wondering why Vox Political isn’t getting the hits it should be.

There’s no difference in the quality of the articles, and I was posting them to the same places on the social media, so I couldn’t see a fault at this end.

I noticed that the number of shares on Facebook had plummeted, though, and thought this might be the reason for the fall. Viral popularity is a huge part of social media success. So I decided to ask readers of the Vox Political Facebook group why they weren’t bothering.

“I’m seeing weird behaviour on the statistics for this page,” I wrote. “Post after post shows hundreds of people reached, dozens or hundreds of ‘engagements’… and single-figure shares.

“Why aren’t you sharing my posts, folks?”

The results were interesting.

It turns out that some people aren’t sharing as much as before: “I … don’t share a lot. I like reading but i I don’t share political posts now.”

This turned out to be quite common. Why? “I follow on twitter and share there but try not to share too much on facebook or I get people moaning.”

“I think people are wary of sharing too many political posts and pissing their friends off.”

“It’s just unfortunate that if you get too political on Facebook, people will either unfollow or unfriend.”

Some appear to have a problem with a glitch: “As i start reading, my news feed resets, and i have to hunt to find the post i started to read.” Funny how that glitch seems to happen to people reading posts from left-wing pages though.

One person pointed out: “I’m also noticing many posts are not appearing until several days after posting.”

But here’s the comment that struck me as being most telling: “When I saw this it made me realise I hadn’t seen your posts for a while.”

I had not been posting much to the page apart from links to articles, and this reader had not been seeing them. When I posted something that wasn’t a link, suddenly they could read it again.

I was left asking, is Facebook deliberately censoring article links to left-wing sites?

It’s possible. We know the platform uses algorithms to block posts from the timelines of people who want to see them, and also decides what you see first by resetting your timeline to see whatever Facebook decides is “most relevant”.

So Facebook is entirely able to cut certain sites from the timelines of (in my case) 40,000 Vox Political supporters without them knowing anything about it.

As one respondent stated: “This is the first post I’ve seen in a while. Thought you had packed it in to be honest.”

Once one person said they hadn’t seen my posts for a while, more followed: “Same here. Hadn’t come up on my feed for ages.”

“Been seeing less and less of your posts on FB, but subscribe by email so see the articles outside of FB.”

“I haven’t seen posts from your page on my newsfeed for ages.”

“I have not had a post from you for a while.”

“I’ve not seen any in forever. Hi.”

Worse still, some people said this (or something similar to it): “I have recently had problems sharing and posting some political stuff. I get a red exclamation point in a circle and a warning that my post has been unsuccessful. Only happens with political posts though. I think that they have certain keywords they block…”

“I have the same problem. Can share anything ‘twee’ without an issue, but anything political gets the red exclamation mark.”

The practical upshot is this: “FB is definitely messing with things.

The hard question is: What can be done about it?

We are told that Facebook’s algorithms are meant to make it easier for users to see the things that matter to them – but it seems clear from the responses to this single inquiry that this isn’t happening. Would I be wrong in thinking that FB has made it harder for users to see the things that matter to them? I don’t think so.

It seems impossible to get that point across. I’ll bring this issue to the Facebook press office but I have low expectations that anything will come of this.

Some say it is possible to get a good result if you go to the Vox Political page on FB, then beneath the “Following” button, tick “In your News Feed – See first” and “Notifications – On (Highlight posts)”.

Perhaps the best option is as laid out by this reader: “I signed up for Mike’s daily Vox Political e-mail. I coupled it with a daily ‘Canary’.  I feel certain that – in so doing – I remain – so far as political truths matter – as fully, and reliably informed as it is – these days – [possible] to be.”

It is really easy to subscribe to the email service. You put your email address in the box towards the top-left of the page. I would make it more prominent if I could, but it’s a WordPress widget and that’s the way it looks.

If anyone can suggest any other possibilities, please let me know.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook