Facebook Posts Tool To Tell If You Followed Any Russian Pages

Facebook recently posted a tool which will check whether you followed any of the alleged Russian Facebook pages or Instagram accounts. I thought it was certainly a possibility as during the election I did follow several anti-Clinton pages. It looks like the were all legitimate after using their tool. Several Facebook friends have also checked and so far I have not found anyone who reports that any of the pages they followed was Russian.

Russian material very likely was lost among the huge amount of noise present on Facebook.  Russian material was a minuscule percentage of overall material on Facebook. The Congressional testimony revealed that  material from these Russian pages accounted for “less than 0.004 percent of all content — or about 1 in 23,000 news feed items” on Facebook. That is hardly enough to have impacted the election result.

It is also probably because the Russians ads appear to have been targeted towards a more conservative audience. Most people are not likely to change their minds as to who to vote for based upon something they see on Facebook, and people joining a political group already have their minds made up. Sure they can get some clicks by posting anti-Clinton material directed towards Republican voters, but those voters 1) already have seen the same from multiple other sources, and 2) were not going to vote for Clinton even before seeing material from Russia.

While the Russian material is portrayed as being pro-Trump and anti-Clinton, much of it had nothing to do with the election, and that which was about the election was not necessarily pro-Trump. The biggest success attributed to Russia on Facebook has been to get 5000 to 10,000 people to turn out for a rally–a rally protesting against Donald Trump after the election.

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6 Comments

  1. 1
    Mike Hatcher says:

    Oh how fortunate you are Ron, had you clicked on that Russian link, you most certainly would have changed your vote from Jill Stein to the Donald. I think we both may be in agreement that the Russian propaganda had no effect on the results, however I would just like to throw some skepticism on Facebook's tool. How hard did they really work on "perfecting" that tool? I suspect in casting a net on Russian fake news sites, Facebook may not have really cared if they caught most of them or not. I see the tool as just something for them to say, "There, we did something about it, now let us move along and keep making money." Pretending to fix something while not actually fixing something is, in my opinion, more of a government habit than a private industry habit. We fixed the national debt with a debt ceiling right? We fixed spending with a pay as you go system right? What a joke.  I do trust private business more than I trust government, but that does not mean I trust them, I just trust government even less.

  2. 2
    djchefron says:

    Well there goes all your links that you use saying Hillary is the devil and Democrats are worst than the MORON. Sucks to be you

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    djchefron,

    Did you even read the post, as once again the facts totally contradict what you are saying? The tool showed that none of the links I use are involved. So much for your delusion that all the factual information about Clinton’s record is Russian propaganda.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Mike,

    Obviously I have no way to tell how reliable the tool is. However, if there are any faults in it, my bet is that the fault would be in identifying the Russian pages. The worst case scenario with all the McCarthyism we are seeing from establishment Democrats would be if it had false positives–falsely claiming pages are Russia which aren’t.

    I am more confident that that the tool works to tell if someone liked one of the Facebook pages which Facebook believes were Russian as that would be relatively simple programming.

  5. 5
    Mike Hatcher says:

    Ron,

    I'm starting to notice and understand what you mean about it not taking much effort to refute troll comments like djchefron and R. Bell. 

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    It is rather easy considering their limited reading comprehension and inability to grasp simple facts which contradict them.

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