is a weekly series by Mozilla where we give you the tools, tips and tricks needed to cut the crap and find the truth. Our guest post this week comes from Kaili Lambe, Senior Campaigner at Mozilla Foundation. Check out more Mozilla Foundation campaigns here and for more Misinfo Monday posts, check back weekly on our blog or on our Instagram. —
Devastating wildfires are ravaging the US west coast. Spreading as quickly as the western wildfires is disinformation about the situation. As Oregon officials struggled to keep people safe, one state representative saw first-hand how disinfo can take hold when a fake Facebook account started sharing divisive (and false) news in her neighborhood Facebook Group.
Groups on Facebook can be great places to connect with classmates or find folks who share similar interests. More recently, Groups on the platform have become hidden breeding grounds for disinformation campaigns and organizing platforms for extremists. We’ve seen it with QAnon, the conspiracy theorists who believe a vast deep-state network of pedophiles is trafficking children. Even after Facebook said it was cracking down on QAnon activity on the platform, other Groups associated with it have continued to grow — by 3,000%, according to one researcher. Additionally, we’ve seen a corresponding surge in Facebook Group activity, including the spread of misinformation about Covid-19.
The group recommendation algorithm [is] the single scariest feature of the platform.
Facebook Groups Engineer
We’ve seen it with the growth of the anti-vaccine (or anti-vax) movement, which researchers say Facebook fueled by recommending groups on the platform that feature anti-vaccine content to new mothers. We’ve seen it with groups on Facebook that encouraged white supremacistspeople to bring weapons to the protests in Kenosha, WI — protests in response to Jacob Blake, a Black man, being shot in the back and left paralyzed by officer Rustin Sheskey. Facebook admitted it should have taken down the group sooner, before two people were killed.
In the words of disinformation researcher Nina Jankowicz, “Facebook Groups are destroying America.” seems the folks that make and support mozilla stuff are doing a thing???
might be of interest to look at it here and there?