To Know How Facebook Was Used By The Russians, Ask Google

To Know How Facebook Was Used By The Russians, Ask Google

The last few days have brought increasing exposure to the fact that Facebook was completely infiltrated and abused by the Russians in order to perpetrate the coup d’etat that brought the monarchy to power in the US. As I have indicated previously, anyone with a pulse was well aware of the way that the Russians plundered Facebook in order to achieve their objectives. My own so-called news feed in November was filled with so-called news stories about Hillary that were prima facie so false that they could have only been fabricated from whole cloth. I have also pointed out that web metrics obviously pointed to extraordinary interference in the form of a major surge of traffic in the days leading up the election, originating from Russia. In the case of this website, we saw traffic from Russia first engage in an effort to commandeer the site and its forums, and, when that failed, bursts of Russian traffic tried to knock the site off the web.

When it comes to measuring web traffic, sources and intent, we rely on Google Analytics. And, in the days leading up to the election, it took me 10 seconds to look at Google Analytics and figure out that the Russians were engaged in untoward activity directed at this website and, by extension, towards the entire US election process.

I have many friends and colleagues involved in internet publishing and marketing who argue that Facebook has somehow obviated the need for Google. For me, Facebook’s success and its stock price rise have been difficult to understand. There is still this thing called the internet and there is still this company called Google that owns it and knows exactly what is going on across it.

Facebook is playing dumb by denying any responsibility for regulating obviously false information and from allowing it to overwhelm its system. It, thus, must accept culpability for the coup. In the days ahead, they will even say that they have no way to track users, advertisers and sources of information. Google can easily prove otherwise and tell us what happened with Facebook and how.

Ari Socolow
Ari Socolow: Ari Socolow is the Chief Economist and Editor-in-Chief at BestCashCow. He is particularly interested in issues relating to bank transparency and the climate crisis. Since co-founding BestCashCow in 2005, Ari has been frequently cited in the media as an expert on local and national savings accounts, CD products, mortgage and loan products and credit card rewards products.

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