This is Why Facebook is a Danger to Democracy

Lies about Turkey

Does Facebook really ruin democracy? Yes, it does. And in this blog posting I will tell you, and provide documentation on, why that is. Did you know Brexit most likely happened because of fake news on Facebook?

I was going to document my allegations by linking to past events that has happened over the past two years. But lo and behold, Facebook has in the past 24 hours actually managed to give a perfect demonstration of what I’m talking about.

It’s about a video of the leader of the Democrats, and the Speaker of the House (the leader of the Senate in the US) that has been edited and doctored in such a fashion that she seems to be drunk or showing clear signs of dementia. By changing the speed, and via creative editing, she seems to have genuine problems with talking coherently.

The video is made by someone who wishes to portray her as unfit for office. The video has been spread on several social media sites, especially on Facebook. Despite the fact that the video has been reported by thousands of Facebook users, Facebook refuses to remove it. They claim it’s not a violation of their rules to upload videos that are not factual or accurate. YouTube on the other hand has indeed removed the video, and continues to do so when it’s uploaded again.

So what’s the big deal? Is it illegal to share parodies or satirical videos? But this is not an attempt at satire. This is just one of many examples where Facebook has knowingly spread fake news, plain lies and propaganda on behalf of people who’s agenda it is to undermine democracy.

In the past three years, Facebook as time after time after time after time been caught lying about what they do with all the data they collect about you when you use and post on their service. The biggest scandal was the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

This happened after the journalist Carole Cadwalladr and former Cambridge Analytica employee Christopher Wylie documented that Facebook had sold the data they had collected from 87 million of their users, without the consent of these users, and sold them to Cambridge Analytica. The latter used this data to figure out these users political views. These users were then bombarded with postings about, and links to, fake news that confirmed theses users already long held viewpoints and beliefs.

The result? Trump won his election and Brexit happened. Too paranoid you say? Well, then read on!

Have you noticed that most articles and links you get in your Facebook feed are articles confirming your politics, opinions and views? That does not happen by accident. Facebook is being paid to do this. And that’s how they manage to influence everything from presidential and parlament elections to elections about leaving the EU.

How do we know this is going on? Because it’s well documented by Cadwalladr and the newspaper The Observer. When Cadwalladr did a TED-talk about this back in April, Facebook and Twitter threatened to withdraw their sponsorship of TED Talks. They also set a number of lawyers loose on TED and threatened to sue if the allegations weren’t withdrawn. TED told Facebook if they could provide documentation that proved that what Cadwalladr had said wasn’t true, they would retract it. They have yet to hear from Facebook’s lawyers…

But that’s not all. This week EU went public and warned about the fact that Russia would try to influence the elections for the EU parliament going on these days. They would do this by creating fake profiles on social media, and then use these to spread fake news to make the EU skeptics even more skeptic. And persuade the doubters to sway to their side. Facebook claims they have set in motion tools to prevent this from happening, while the Russians denies everything, calling it paranoid nonsense.

Well, it’s not nonsense. Because Cadwalladr has provided documentation that a number of advertisers, all financed by Russia, got Facebook to spread fake news that directly influenced the Brexit vote. And Facebook knew that this was what the advertisers goal was. But still they let them do it! Read that again! Facebook did this knowingly and on purpose! Imagine how many elections where they previously must have done this, before we woke up and smelled the coffee?

In the video below, Cadwalladr tells us what she found out, and how she did it. Especially is the story about her trip to Wales an eyeopener:

  • 62% percent of the inhabitants of Wales voted Leave
  • This despite the fact that Wales has many buildings, organisations, road and railways that are directly paid for with EU funds. This to counter the economic downturn that happened when mines and the industry closed down, one after the other, in Wales (Edit: As one comment below points out: The UK is an net contributor to the EU, meaning the  country pays more to the EU than it gets back in funds. But it’s via EU programs that this infrastructure is built. Some will claim that that without the EU, nothing would have been done without the UK government being forced to do so)
  • Despite this, the citizens of Wales feel that the EU has done nothing for them
  • The Welch were also sick of so many immigrants coming to Wales
  • However, Wales has the lowest number of immigrants in the entire UK

People say that it’s on Facebook they have read all the false claims they think are facts. And these ads and articles are spread, despite the fact that Facebook know they are false. Because they are paid to distribute them to those whose profile tells Facebook that they might take it as fact.

The problem is that since this disappears from people’s Facebook stream, it’s hard to find out exactly what was published, who published it, what country they were from and how much they paid Facebook to knowingly spread false information.

However, Facebook does know! But they refuse to give us this information. Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has been ordered to testify in front of the British parliament, to show exactly what data they are sitting on, and how they used it to influence Brexit. He refuses. Why?

And did you know that just a few days before the Brexit vote, the “Vote Leave” campaign launched a huge campaign on Facebook? They did this via another campaign, a shadow campaign the British electoral commission say are illegal, and which they have reported to the police. This is because there is a limit on how much money you cand spend on a campaign. An example of articles being spread was what is pictured in the top photo of this posting.

Edit: As pointed out in the comments below, EU and Turkey has been talking about Turkey joining. While it’s true that the EU and Turkey has been in talks for years about this, it’s not even remotely true that it will happen anytime soon. So at best, the article is misleading.

Cadwalladrd says in the video that this is the biggest election fraud in the UK for over a 100 years. And no one has been made responsible yet! And: The same companies and organisations that spread disinformation about Brexit, were they same that spread fake news and lies to help Trump’s campaign…

Here is the video, it’s well worth the 15 minutes it lasts:


In my next posting I will give you more reasons for why we should all lave Facebook (and yes, I do know how insanely ironic it is that I will use Facebook to spread the link to this blog posting…)

11 thoughts on “This is Why Facebook is a Danger to Democracy”

  1. Your point is absolutely, 100% valid.

    However I suggest that in your discussions you don’t reference Brexit or Trump as supporting evidence. You will immediately alienate half of the population you may otherwise influence. Keep in mind it goes the other way: for 2.5+ years much of the US media claimed that there was “hard evidence” of President Trump colluding with Russia, and Facebook was used heavily to promote this fake news.

    I don’t know what the way forward is with this, but it is obvious that the social media platforms absolutely have the means to tip elections. Without determining a way out, democracy is dead.

  2. “despite the fact that Wales has many buildings, organisations, road and railways that are directly paid for with EU funds.”

    They are not paid for by the EU. They are funded by UK tax payers. The UK is a net contributor to the EU. This means we give the EU more than we receive back in so called “EU funding”.

    If you are going to criticise others for misleading people you need to be scrupulously honest yourself.

    1. Thanks. I will update my article to reflect that. However, some would argue that without EU funds, these roads and buildings would most likely not have been built.

      1. Some may argue that.

        But the UK people elect a UK government. If they don’t like the spending priorities of the UK government they’ll elect a different government. That’s how democracy works. The UK electorate have far more sway with the UK government than they do with any EU institution.

  3. I’m not sure if you are suggesting that the Vote Leave graphic saying membership talks with Turkey starting on the 30th June was wrong or a lie?

    But if you search the EU web site you will find that “The last meeting of the Accession Conference with Turkey at ministerial level was held on 30 June 2016.”

    So that prediction wasn’t fake news.

    1. No, I’m referring to the second graphic, which states Turkey IS joining the EU. Which is not true. As shown in your link, that will not happen before Erdogan gives up his dictatorial abuse of power. There has been talks about Turkey joining for years, but Erdogan made the EU put the brakes on. And as of now, there is nothing to indicate that Turkey WILL be joining anytime soon.

      1. In which case your inclusion of the first graphic is misleading.

        Turkey are in accession talks with the EU, they are in the process of joining. The logical conclusion is Turkey’s membership. It may not be “anytime soon”. If you are been pedantic then maybe it could have been more explicit. But you yourself are guilty of some misleading content in this article.

        1. I will look into it and update, or clarify, the parts of my article that are inaccurate. Thanks.

  4. This is all interesting stuff, but I have to say all of it is circumstantial evidence. Why do I say this? Because there’s no evidence to link the decision making process of, for example, the voters of Brexit, to all of the “fake news” that was posted on Facebook.

    Simply put, if you buy a book that explains how to lose weight and you never end up losing weight, is it the book’s fault? Of course not, everyone makes their own decision.

    1. You make some good points. But I would say the Cambridge Analytica scandal is certainly both proven, and Facebook admitted it (after a lot of backtracking).

      I’m not sure I would go along with the book analogy, though. The book doesn’t track you your personal data about political views etc, to try and give you fake and/or misleading news. Or in a best case scenario: Creates an echo chamber for you.

      But you are right when it comes down to making a personal decision, it’s all on us. But you can only base it on what you assume to be facts.

      But thanks for your commment, I love getting views that contradict me or at least make me think harder about my own truths. I’m very happy to see that this comments section has stayed civil and respectful (which in my Norwegian blog doesn’t happen too often).

  5. There are many problems with Facebook and you point out some. Your point may be better received if you clear up some typographical errors in your post.

    Sentence: “These users where then bombarded with postings about, and links to, fake news that confirmed theses users already long held viewpoints and beliefs.”
    … Change “where” to “were”.

    Sentence: “However, Facebook do know!”
    … Change “do” to “does”.

    The campaign to influence Britain to leave the EU is called “Vote Leave”, not “Vote Lave”.


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