Facebook is full of ridiculous ads, fake news sites and hilariously and poorly
disguised propaganda sites... half the fun of Facebook is gawking at the
carnival atmosphere it invokes... and on a side note to Russian hackers...
American teenagers don’t use Facebook anymore...
Facebook intended its service to be a place to exchange different ideas and
connect us with the people of the world. The only bad thing about the Russian
ads is that the Russians did not openly present the ads as coming from Russia.
There is nothing wrong with people advertising or expressing their political
views during the election process, I did it, but people knew it was coming from
me; I was not hiding my identity. But I am also smart enough to know that just
because someone says something is true does not automatically make it true and
if I want to know what is true I need to research and obtain primary source
documents. It is stupid human behavior to just believe whatever someone tells
you without evidence to back it up.
As someone who doesn't engage much on social media, many of these political
ads by Russians are quite shocking -- but seemingly creative and effective.
They are designed to reach the emotions of their viewers -- mostly conservatives
-- and even if they appear "home made" and unprofessional, that is on
purpose to convey an "authenticity" that these unpolished memes and
messages are "grass-roots" and from people truly worried about Clinton,
Clinton supporters, and their "love" of all things that seem
"un-American."Even the "anti-Trump" ad shown here is
really one supporting him because it is designed to get pro-Trump supporters to
be enraged that some liberal New York protest was upcoming to protest their
beloved "guy." ... it literally stokes the flames of beliefs that
liberals are a bunch of sore losers. In other articles about the
Russian ads, there is one ad shown with Jesus arm wrestling the devil,
suggesting that a vote for Trump will be a vote for Jesus. As ridiculous as the
visual is, it appeals to those deeply evangelical/conservative Christians who
believe Democrats (and Obama and Clinton) were the instruments of demons.
Powerful and convincing.
The "anti-migrant ad" is actually an anti-illegal ad. Makes you wonder
who is worse, the main stream media or the "Russian trolls". Hillary actually said she would protect Muslims, how can that be fake news?
Senator Feinstein is correct: this is a very big deal. On the surface, it's
already concerning that you could be consuming content carefully crafted by
those with an undesirable or dangerous ideology to sway you or your
children's opinions. In the pre-digital past, if you picked up a copy of
Pravda, you knew exactly what you were getting. Now, the source is easily
masked.If that were all, that would be bad enough, but today's
advertising technology means that if your son Googles ISIS, or even terrorism,
while researching a school report, that search, along with all others done by
that Google user on that computer, or any other electronic device, and all
browsing done, online purchases made, gmails sent or received, files stored in
Google drive, etc. gets catologued. When an advertiser, say ISIS, buys one of
the AdWords for which your son searched, he now becomes a target of what can be
a very subtle sequence of messages that can be modulated based on his responses.
The entire "campaign" process is automated, enabled by tools provided by
Google (or whichever other ad server is being used).This ain't
your daddy's Internet any more!
We need to vet our political ads, to make sure they aren't originating
outside the country. Since this is practically impossible to confirm, the
solution is to not allow any kind of political ads to air in any medium,
especially close to an election. Oh wait, they already tried this,
and it failed. It was called Citizens United, and was rightly decried by the
ACLU as an attack on the 1st Amendment.