Just when you thought it was okay to like Facebook again.
Courtesy of HuffPo:
In an effort to muffle criticism of how it handled Russian interference and disinformation, Facebook reportedly carried out a campaign to discredit dissenters that included targeted attacks on Jewish billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
A New York Times investigation, published Wednesday, delves into the social media giant’s handling of the controversy and chaos following the discovery of targeted disinformation campaigns. Facebook, facing increasing backlash in Washington, hired Definers Public Affairs, a Republican opposition research firm, to discredit anti-Facebook protesters by linking them to figures like Soros, a longtime critic of the social network, the newspaper reported.
Facebook initially worked with Definers to monitor press coverage of the company, but then expanded the relationship in October 2017, according to the report. The public relations firm then reportedly began promoting negative coverage of Facebook’s rivals, including Apple and Google.
Definers also reportedly targeted Soros after anti-Facebook activists promoted what appeared to be anti-Semitic imagery during a congressional hearing. The firm sent a research document to reporters over the summer alleging that Soros was behind an anti-Facebook movement; his Open Society Foundations, for example, supported a group that his son founded as well as Color of Change, a group that belongs to an anti-Facebook advocacy group called Freedom From Facebook.
I recently heard a critic saying that Facebook is the single biggest threat to democracy today.
And that sounding less and less like hyperbole.