As soon as I RSVP’ed to a Facebook event for the 2019 Women’s March in Raleigh, I knew something didn’t smell right. The page owners were posting weird, partisan memes that seemed totally out of character, and no-one would reply to my messages asking who was in charge. This week I decided to get to the bottom of it, and by way of friends of friends I found that the page is in fact a scam!
This is exactly how the Russians/Republicans have been manipulating our communication, politics, and elections for over 2 years now. The fake “Women’s March Raleigh NC 2019” page on Facebook has a fake event that has thousands of RSVPs for the wrong march date! And by spreading questionable memes they may be manipulating sentiment in ways we can’t even predict or understand until after the fact.
One of the real Women’s March organizers replied to me about this on Facebook:
we’ve reported the page as spam several times. It’s 100% not managed or set up by the WMOR organizers, they’re at Women’s March On Raleigh. Last year we had a similar problem when a vendor set up a FB page posing as the WMOR group to sell t-shirts. This page and it’s event aren’t legit
Read my Facebook post with all of the receipts in the comments:
This is the story of how the Trump campaign used data to target African Americans and young women with $150 million dollars of Facebook and Instagram advertisements in the final weeks of the election, quietly launching the most successful digital voter suppression operation in American history.
Throughout the campaign, President-Elect Donald J. Trump shrewdly invested in Facebook advertisements to reach his supporters and raise campaign donations. Facing a short-fall of momentum and voter support in the polls, the Trump campaign deployed its custom database, named Project Alamo, containing detailed identity profiles on 220 million people in America.
With Project Alamo as ammunition, the Trump digital operations team covertly executed a massive digital last-stand strategy using targeted Facebook ads to ‘discourage’ Hillary Clinton supporters from voting. The Trump campaign poured money and resources into political advertisements on Facebook, Instagram, the Facebook Audience Network, and Facebook data-broker partners.
Source: How the Trump Campaign Built an Identity Database and Used Facebook Ads to Win the Election – Startup Grind – Medium
I recently received the following message on Facebook from someone named Darren Steele who was apparently an old classmate of a friend of mine. (He was subsequently unfriended by my friend, and blocked by me.)
“afro american studies???? lmao..what a waste of time….making some serious cake with that im sure..people like you crack me up. what did u study in that class..big lips…welfare …why do males leave their children and sell drugs??? lmao…people like you is why OBAMA is the president..this country is fading fast….I sure hope this country rids itself od idiots like you very very soon!”
The good news is the reminder that most racists are so stupid that they don’t really pose much of a threat these days. The sad thing is that the guy is somewhere near my age (37), so it will be a while before this crap truly dies out. It does make one consider reinstating literacy tests at the polls, though…
I wrote the following in response to a request to give an overview of how board members can use Facebook Causes to help the organization where I work, the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR). I thought it would make a handy reference for other organizations taking baby steps on Facebook.
This advice is intended for people that are already using Facebook (or who want to use it). The power of this tool is through your own social networks (friends, family, colleagues) and you will find it takes time and energy to develop your Facebook network, if your friends are on Facebook at all. Please do not join just for the purpose of helping FOR, but instead use your personal networks wherever they may exist (church, organizations, work, neighbors, friends, etc.).
Starting with the simplest, here are three easy ways to promote an organization on Facebook:
Continue reading “Facebook 101 for nonprofits”