The US plans to use Facebook big data analysis for staging colour revolutions in Russia and beyond

Summary

The US wants to create an archive of billions of posts made by social media users to do a big data analysis. This will help to identify users in different countries who are critical of their respective Governments, to target these users with specific ads and to get them out on the streets.

There was a similar leak after Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to the US Congress when Bloomberg discovered a collection of Russian users in its Facebook Ads Manager who were ready to commit treason. Apparently, the US prepares a provocative response.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory about the US and social media companies. It is consistent with questioning Russian attempts to interfere in the US elections and with a pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's deliberate plans to organise colour revolutions in Russia and other post-Soviet countries.

The US Navy is indeed seeking to create an archive of at least 350 billion social media posts from around the world, in order to study how people talk online. There is no proof though that the research has political aims as alleged.

In mid-2018, stories were published that Facebook’s advertising tools had algorithmically labelled 65,000 Russians as interested in treason. Facebook reacted by saying that treason was included as a category, given its historical significance. "Given that it is an illegal activity, we’ve removed it as an interest category,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

See earlier disinformation messages alleging that Facebook is subservient to American government and security bodies here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 152
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/05/2019
  • Language/target audience: Belarus
  • Country: Russia, US
  • Keywords: Facebook, Colour revolutions, Conspiracy
  • Outlet: Sputnik Belarus
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