Corbyn Deletes His Facebook Account

Jeremy Corbyn appears to have deleted his Facebook account after Guido revealed he was a member of five anti-Semitic groups on the site. Corbyn was a very active user of his personal Facebook account before he became Labour leader, and all his posts and group activity remained up here until today. The page now says: “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now. The link you followed may have expired, or the page may only be visible to an audience you’re not in”. When the man who wants to be Prime Minister has to hide his Facebook account to prevent it from being further linked to anti-Semitism, you know there’s a problem…

UPDATE: Labour have confirmed to the Mirror that Corbyn deliberately deleted his personal Facebook account.

590 Million Facebook Profiles Potentially Harvested By Guardian App

The Observer’s main revelation over the last couple of weeks has been their claim that Cambridge Analytica harvested data from 50 million Facebook accounts. They found that CA’s Aleksander Kogan collected data from 270,000 accounts and was able to access data from all their friends – on average 185 users per account – making up a total of 50 million. This does seem to add up, the most recent figures suggest the median number of Facebook friends per account is just under 200. 

The Guardian app’s privacy policy reveals they also collect data from your Facebook account, and the accounts of all your friends. This data includes “your name, profile picture, gender, networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Facebook account settings, as well as the user details of your Facebook friends”. You have to give permission to have your data, and that of your friends, collected if you want to use the app. This has been happening for years…

The Guardian say their app has 3.2 million active users. If those users have on average 185 Facebook friends each, that means the Guardian has potentially accessed the personal Facebook data of something like 592 million accounts. That is more than ten times the number Cambridge Analytica reportedly got hold of. This is a conservative estimate as it only includes “active” users of the Guardian app – it will have been downloaded by many more down the years. Will Damian Collins be hauling the head of data and CEO of the Guardian in front of his select committee?

Guardian App Harvests Your and Your Friends’ Facebook Data

The Guardian app harvests your personal data from your Facebook page and also the data of all of your friends – the exact same central allegation the Observer has been making against Cambridge Analytica. The privacy policy of the Guardian Facebook app makes clear if you don’t grant permission to have your and your friends’ social media data harvested you cannot use the app:

When you first access the App, for example by clicking on a link to a Guardian article from your Facebook newsfeed, you will be presented with a Facebook permissions page, which will advise you about the Facebook information you will be sharing with the App and other Facebook users. You can then decide whether or not to share your Facebook information by using the App. If you decide not to grant permission you will not be able to use the App. 

By granting permission you will be agreeing to share your Facebook user details (including your name, profile picture, gender, networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Facebook account settings) as well as the user details of your Facebook friends, and information about your use of the App, for example, the articles you are reading.”

The Guardian’s general privacy policy also reveals they sell your “behavioural data” to third parties:

“We may also share anonymised behavioural data with advertising partners, including commercial organisations that fund content labelled ‘Supported by’, ‘Paid content/Paid for by’ or ‘Advertiser content/from our advertisers’. This may mean that when you are on other websites, you will be shown advertising based on your behaviour on theguardian.com. We may also show you advertising on our site based on your behaviour on other sites.

They also reveal the Guardian uses data from third-party surveys – this is exactly how Aleksandr Kogan got his data for Cambridge Analytica:

“To assist us in our marketing, in addition to the data that you provide to us if you register, we may also obtain data from trusted third parties to help us understand what you might be interested in. This ‘profiling’ information is produced from a variety of sources, including publicly available data (such as the electoral roll) or from sources such as surveys and polls where you have given your permission for your data to be shared.”

Did the Guardian sell your behavioural data to Cambridge Analytica? Are they the missing piece of the jigsaw that blows this whole conspiracy wide open? Over to you, Carole…

Corbyn Personally Joined Third Anti-Semitic Facebook Group

Jeremy Corbyn has been active in one anti-Semitic Facebook group. He was a member of a second anti-Semitic Facebook group until last week. And now Guido can reveal he personally joined and is still a member of a third Facebook group filled with extremely anti-Semitic content. 

The difference with the other groups is that Corbyn personally and actively joined “The Labour Party Supporter”. He was not added by anybody else. “The Labour Party Supporter” is full of anti-Semitic postings about the Rothschilds, Jews harvesting organs, the Holocaust and conspiracy theories linking Israel and ISIS. Corbyn remains a member of the group this morning.

Corbyn cannot use the excuse that he was added by someone else and didn’t know about it. He decided the group was something he wanted to join, and something he wanted to remain a member of to this very day, despite the huge amount of anti-Semitic material posted in the group for years. Does anyone believe his line that with the mural, the Facebook groups and everything else, he simply didn’t notice the anti-Semitism?

Facebook Engagement Drop Off Not Seen Here

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook algorithm moves in mysterious ways. To Guido’s surprise, checking Facebook’s analytics shows that our engagement levels are actually up since the Zuck announced they will be deprioritising “publisher content which is just passively consumed and not talked about”. The above graphic shows the amount of engagement achieved on the Facebook pages of some of our rivals last week according to Facebook’s publisher insights. Not what many would have expected.

One of Guido’s rivals reckons what this really means is that plain vanilla reporting will be downgraded and news with views will be upgraded. Looks like engaging content is still king…

49 Russian Twitter Trolls Sent Just 942 Tweets During Referendum

Over in Washington, Twitter’s Nick Pickles has told grandstanding Damian Collins and his Culture, Media and Sport select committee that the company detected just 49 accounts linked to a Russian “troll factory”, which sent out a mere 942 tweets during the EU referendum. This is 0.005% of the total number of accounts that tweeted about the referendum. Earlier Collins lost it with Facebook’s representative for denying there was any Russian intervention, snapping: “But you haven’t looked! You haven’t looked!”, and even implying Facebook was lucky not to be “closed down” and its executives “face prosecution. Almost as if Collins is an arch-Remainer using his position to push the Russia / Brexit conspiracy theory, even when the tech companies themselves say it’s a load of nonsense…

Unilad Deleted From Facebook

Viral video outlet Unilad appears to have been booted off Facebook. Unilad’s main page went offline after the social network said it had violated its posting policy. Unilad has (or had) 34 million followers. It’s not clear if the ban is temporary or permanent. Unilad has a staff of 60, it makes its founders hundreds of thousands of pounds in profits, it has a global reach of a billion people per week and Facebook is its main traffic driver and revenue source. Facebook now holds the future of many publishers in its hands… 

Cringeworthy Rudd Memes Worse Than Activate

Last week The Times reported that three social media accounts promoting Amber Rudd have been set up by her supporters. Guido has been following their progress and can report that they have alas not gone viral. @VoteForRudd has attracted a total of 300 followers, pumping out memes that are more cringeworthy than Activate. This photoshop of the “Battle of Hastings re-enactment” got two retweets.

In fact, we’re probably being harsh on Activate. These Rudd graphics are worse:

The “Vote For Rudd” Facebook page is even more cringe, it has managed just 90 likes. Meanwhile on Instagram they’re mocking her up as a cheerleader and calling themselves the “Ruddettes“.

All in all it is not exactly #Moggmentum. The terrible accounts are being run by an anonymous blogger calling himself “Tory Boy 999“. He says:

“We need young people with a good knowledge of social networking to become keyboard warriors for the centre right. We are endeavouring to provide a range of useful resources and will be running this blog, an active instagram account and a YouTube channel. We encourage people to copy and paste, screenshot, share or reproduce any of these resources. We want to reach as many people as possible, target young people and reach new audiences.”

Is that you, Roland?

New Number 10 “Road to Brexit” Social Media Strategy

Number 10 is releasing a video titled “The Road to Brexit” on Facebook and Twitter this afternoon as it steps up its Brexit messaging – you can watch it on Guido first. It’s the first time Theresa May’s government has really tried to do anything like this – a 21st century social media strategy pumping positive Brexit news into the newsfeeds of young voters. Certainly a marked change in communications compared with the previous regime. The video strikes a realistic tone, noting these are “the most complex negotiations the country has ever faced”, stressing the tough talks ahead and the need for a transition period. It also reconfirms the Lancaster House principles of leaving the single market and customs union and taking back control of laws, borders and trade. Good to see civil servants previously tasked with talking up Project Fear doing something useful for a change…

May’s Facebook Live Q & A

Facebook Reports BBC to Police

Facebook has reported a number of BBC journalists to the police after they “provided” them with evidence of child abuse image that appeared on the social network. It is obviously illegal to distribute child abuse images, so when Facebook asked the BBC to “provide examples of the material” they had apparently found, the Beeb’s lawyers should have sounded alarm bells. Instead, the BBC “did so”, and Facebook then reported them to the National Crime Agency. As a Facebook spokesman says:

“It is against the law for anyone to distribute images of child exploitation.”

And in their write up of the story the BBC admits to have confessed all. Wouldn’t it have been more sensible to invite them in and show them in person?

Momentum Spent Thousands to Gain 0.4% Votes

Momentum have spent thousands on Facebook advertising to recruit supporters to Unite to vote for Len McCluskey in the union’s forthcoming election. People in the know estimate well over £10,000 was spent…

The Guardian reports that just an

“extra 659 people joined as community members in December compared with the previous month, part or all of which may be the result of the campaign group asking its supporters to join Unite to vote to keep McCluskey, a key ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

In total the union has 1.4 million members, though only about 15% voted in the last election of its general secretary in 2013. Were all the new members to vote, the turnout could be expected to increase by around 4%.”

Not fake news just poor mathematics, the increased vote would be a mere 0.4%.  A rounding error…

Facebook Likes Post-Brexit UK, Plans Thousands More Jobs

Facebook zuckerberg

Facebook will confirm its commitment to add 500 skilled jobs to its London workforce today as part of a plan to expand its British headquarters from 4,000 to 7,000 employees within the next four years. This joins Google’s £1 billion investment in Britain, and Apple’s huge new HQ at Battersea as evidence that the tech sector is still thriving. Unemployment is falling and retail is surging, despite Brexit! Strangely, Google, Apple and Facebook are not worried about being outside the EU’s Digital Single Market, the over-regulated, over-subsidised irrelevance to the future…

Choking the McChicken: X-Rated Content Trends on Facebook

CHOKING THE mcchicken sandwhich]

Facebook was embarrassed over the weekend after it replaced its human editors with an algorithm, which then allowed a fake news story to appear on the site’s “trending” sidebar. It gets worse. Trending on Facebook yesterday was an x-rated video of a man performing a sex act on a McDonald’s McChicken sandwich – choking the McChicken, if you will. Previously Facebook’s trending stories were monitored by a team of real people, who could filter out fowl content like this. This weekend the algorithm was set loose to decide what should trend. With predictable results. I’m not loving it.

Corbynistas Attempting to Preempt Co-op Plan

co-operative party inflitrate

In yesterday’s Sunday Times, Tim Shipman revealed that some nameless Labour moderates might use their sister Co-operative Party to form a new opposition. While plans for the immediate future include establishing a factional grouping, Shippers has uncovered a scheme to get Labour moderates to sign up MPs to the Co-operative Party itself, which has a pact to work with Labour in Parliament and elections. “Double-hatted” MPs can then apply to Bercow to have themselves recognised as the official opposition in the event of mass deselections from Labour, which will grant them a healthy chunk of short money. Guido is too modest to point out where the idea was previously mooted

The advantage of Labour MPs flagging themselves as Co-op MPs is that it is a non-split, split. 24 MPs are already Labour/Co-op MPs. The parties do not stand against each other under the terms of an agreement going back to 1927. The Co-operative Party is a legally separate entity from the Labour Party, and is already registered as a political party with the Electoral Commission, thus Bercow will be able to designate them as the official opposition with very little legal difficulties. This Guido understands is only one plan being considered – Tom Watson would be reluctant to go along with it – however he will under no circumstances allow the SNP to become the official opposition.

Ideologically the ideas of the cooperative movement; egalitarianism and mutualism with co-operative commercial enterprises will be agreeable to most of the Progress-faction MPs. It has always struck Guido that Labour taking the state socialist route rather than the non-state co-operative route was, in retrospect, a fundamental mistake that put the Labour Party on the wrong side of history at the end of the twentieth century. A less statist, redistributive party that favoured social market and non-state solutions might be the future…

Corbynista’s have of course mobilised quickly, with Momentum groups on Facebook awash with calls to join the Co-op and “avoid its infiltration by the coup plotters!” Carry on comrades..

MP’s Social Media Expenses Paid to Labour Crony

RUTH CADBURY TECH

If an MP had spent a whopping £7,000 of taxpayers’ money on top tech gear, “comms management” and social media training, you would expect to see some results. Ruth Cadbury billed the taxpayer for a Macbook Pro, an iPad Air 2 and an office full of new computers, as well as funnelling £2,575 to former Gordon Brown SpAd Caroline Badley to teach her, among other things, how to use social media. Your money well spent? After the social media splurge Ruth has a measly 680 Facebook followers, just 5,000 odd Twitter followers, and a grand total of zero YouTube subscribers. Is this taxpayer cash actually being spent on anything or is it just lining the pockets of a Labour crony?

£1,800 on ‘Social Media Strategy’, But SNP MP Has Just 6 YouTube Subscribers

anne mclaucghlin

Have you ever heard of SNP MP Anne McLaughlin? Guido hadn’t either. So it’s perhaps forgiveable that she’d want to boost her profile by claiming £1,800 on expenses for “Social Media Consultancy” as part of an attempt to build a “Social Media Strategy”. What’s less forgiveable is that, despite this taxpayer cash, her Twitter account has just a few thousand followers, her Facebook just a couple of thousand likes, and her YouTube channel – inactive for five years – has just six subscribers. Your money well spent.

Tory Social Media Campaign Begins

social media accounts

The first real social media campaign for a Tory election has had a lacklustre start, with just three accounts spawned across Twitter and Facebook so far. Theresa May leads the pack with a Nation-builder website Theresa2016.co.uk capturing email addresses for the all important final membership round. Facebook and Twitter pages complete the digital assets. May already boasts 649 Facebook likes and a whopping 4286 Twitter followers. The other candidates can’t afford to be left behind during the membership rounds…

Leave Overtakes Remain on Facebook

Referendum likes

On the whole, Facebook often lacks Twitter’s faster political edge. Yet as shown by the general election, it matters far more…

While Remain always lacked Twitter* followers, it carried the edge regarding Facebook likes – until today. With Guido’s daily campaign report showing the two campaigns being neck and neck yesterday, it would appear that Farage’s (or Cameron’s) performance last night was enough to push some as-yet-undecided Facebook users over the edge, lending Leave 4,500 extra followers overnightArron Banks fans screaming “split campaign” should remember Guido only started tracking likes after Vote Leave got the official designation…

What does this mean? Facebook offers politicos the opportunity to appeal directly to users with targeted messages from their page. Using the vast array of data stored on each Facebook profile – likes, location, events attended – these posts can be laser precise while not subject to the clamour of Twitter’s left-wing echo chamber. If that isn’t convincing enough, the Tories chose to spend £1 million more than Labour on Facebook alone in 2015. Twitter wins columnists, Facebook wins votes…

*At the time of going to pixel @Vote_Leave has 53,946 followers and @StrongerIn has 35,256 followers.

Milo & Mensch Go Snowflakey Over Facebook

MILO+MENSCH

Louise Mensch and Milo Yiannopoulos are getting worked up about the revelation that Facebook’s “Trending News” discriminates against right-leaning news sources. This means their outlets Heat Street and Breitbart are being denied traffic by Facebook. Facebook had kinda-sorta pretended that their Trending News function was an algorithm driven objective news curator.[…] Read the rest

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President Trump on May’s Brexit deal:

“I would say that Brexit is Brexit. … The people voted to break it up. So I would imagine that’s what they’ll do. But maybe they’ll take a different route, I’m not sure that’s what they voted for.”

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