Facebook whistleblower claims platform ignores political manipulation outside the US and Europe


A leaked internal memo from a former Facebook employee has revealed her claims that the company ignored or delineated election intervention campaigns outside the US and Europe, which could affect the fate of nations by deciding junior employees.

Sophie Zhang recently fired a data scientist from Facebook’s site Integrity Team for withdrawing an internal memorandum of 6,600 words after refusing a $ 64,000 severance agreement in order to speak.

In the memo, it described a network of fake accounts that were being used to concentrate in politics in Euador, Azerbaijan, Brazil and elsewhere, but were retrofitted by Facebook to be of low priority.

And she says she has ‘blood on my hands’ after protests and deaths in countries where she was forced to ignore misinformation.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com on Tuesday, but told Buzzfeed in a statement that the company investigates each issue carefully.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears in a file photo. A leaked internal memo from a former Facebook employee has revealed her claims that the company has ignored election intervention campaigns outside the US and Europe.

A Facebook spokesperson said, “We’ve worked with specialized experts, working with leading experts to prevent bad actors from misusing our system, resulting in more than 100 networks of coordinated inhumans Removed for behavior, ”said a Facebook spokesperson.

‘This is the highly involved work these teams do as their full-time remits. Working against coordinated inhumane behavior is our priority, but we are also addressing spam and fake engagement problems. We carefully examine each issue, including Ms. Zhang, before we take action or go out and make claims publicly as a company, ‘the statement continued.

Zhang posted her memo internally on her last day on Facebook earlier this month. In it, she states that she was fired after asking for more resources to handle political and civil manipulation.

Zhang said that he was asked to stop focusing on civil issues and refused, which resulted in his termination.

In his memo, which he shared on Facebook’s employee messaging system, Zhang wrote that he explored coordinated campaigns of varying sizes to promote or hinder political candidates or results.

He wrote, “In the three years I spent on Facebook, I have seen many outrageous attempts by foreign nationals to misuse our citizens on a large scale, and on several occasions due to international news. ”

“I have personally taken decisions that affect national presidents, without oversight, and have taken action against many prominent politicians globally,” he wrote.

In Bolivia, Zhang said that he ‘found inhuman activity supporting the opposition presidential candidate in 2019’ and opted not to prioritize it because of his workload.

Months later, after the resignation of Bolivian President Ivo Morales ‘there were dozens of deaths due to massive protests,’ he wrote.

Zhang wrote that in Honduras, a coordinated campaign 'used thousands of inhumane assets to promote President Juan Orlando Hernandez' (above)

Zhang wrote that in Honduras, a coordinated campaign ‘used thousands of inhumane assets to promote President Juan Orlando Hernandez’ (above)

A similar situation arose in Ecuador, Zhang wrote, he found ‘inhuman activity supporting the ruling government … and decided not to prioritize it’.

After the coronovirus epidemic caused havoc in that country, Zhang wondered if his decision played a role in the government’s actions.

He wrote: ‘I have made countless decisions in this vein – from Iraq to Indonesia, from Italy to El Salvador. Individually, the impact was small in each case, but the world is a vast place.

‘Although I made the best decision based on the knowledge available at the time, ultimately I was the one who decided not to proceed or prioritize in every case, and I know that I still have blood on my hands. ‘

Zhang also wrote that in Honduras, a coordinated campaign ‘used thousands of inhumane assets to promote President Juan Orlando Hernandez’.

Facebook announced in July that it had removed 181 accounts and 1,488 Facebook pages tied to coordinated inattentive activity in Honduras, but Zhang says enforcement took nine months, and that fake accounts were returned only two weeks later.

‘Local policy teams confirmed that the marketing team of President JOH had openly admitted to conducting the activity on their behalf,’ he wrote. ‘Yet despite violating the nature of this activity, it took me almost a year to conduct it.’

In Azerbaijan, Zhang wrote that he came to know that President Ilham Aliyev’s ruling political party ‘used thousands of unnatural possessions to harass the opposition’.

Facebook still has not revealed the impact campaign, according to Zhang.

In Azerbaijan, Zhang wrote that he came to know that President Ilham Aliyev (above) ruling political party 'used thousands of unnatural possessions to harass the opposition ...'

In Azerbaijan, Zhang wrote that he came to know that President Ilham Aliyev (above) ruling political party ‘used thousands of unnatural possessions to harass the opposition …’

Zhang also wrote that he and his colleagues removed 10 to .5 million fake responses and fans of high-profile politicians in Brazil and the US in the 2018 elections. ‘

She said campaigns with influence from all major Brazilian politicians and many lower-level politicians in the United States were targeted.

Facebook said in September 2018 that it had acted against a network in Brazil that ‘used fake accounts to split and disinfect shares’.

But Zhang claimed that Facebook seemed to give less resources and a lower priority for disinfection campaigns outside the US and Europe, which overwhelmed her sentiment.

‘We focus on disadvantages and priority areas such as the United States and Western Europe,’ Zhang wrote, ‘It made it impossible to read the news and monitor world events without feeling the weight of my own responsibility.’

In the long memo, Zhang also wrote about identifying inhuman activity in Bolivia and Ecuador, but chose to ‘not prioritize it’ due to her workload.

Zhang declined to comment to Buzzfeed, and DailyMail.com could not be reached immediately.

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