Facebook investigates group backed by Reid Hoffman

Research project led by CSE Professor Damon McCoy.
Facebook said it is investigating whether an organization backed by billionaire and Democratic mega-donor Reid Hoffman violated the social media giant’s policies when it set up a series of misleading news pages in a bid to target U.S. voters with left-leaning political messages. The probe focuses on News for Democracy, whose Facebook ads and affiliated pages about sports, religion, the American flag and other topics were viewed millions of times during the 2018 congressional midterm election, according to an analysis of the company ad archive conducted by New York University....The study by the New York University Tandon School of Engineering found that News for Democracy’s ads garnered at least 16 million impressions, defined as views or clicks, over just a two-week period in September. The pages are still active. “These groups find a community, they try to build it with nonpolitical content, and once they have that community established, they start inserting political messages,” said Laura Edelson, one of the NYU researchers.

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