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Clara Jeffery
1/ I am enraged. Excellent reporting from WSJ's and finds that Facebook engineers—with sign-off from Zuckerberg himself—retooled their algorithm to throttle traffic to high-value progressive news orgs, IN PARTICULAR
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Clara Jeffery Oct 16
Replying to @MonikaBauerlein
2/ Last year, and I wrote about how Facebook's changes to its algorithm hurt legit news orgs as it pumped right-wing disinfo machines. We used the impact on our traffic as an example: BUT
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Clara Jeffery Oct 16
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
3/ We did NOT know that they were targeting us in particular. We suspected, and has since been shown in this WSJ piece and elsewhere, that they made these changes b/c conservatives had worked the refs. ITS SO MUCH WORSE.
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Clara Jeffery Oct 16
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
4/ It's not an unintentional by product of ref-working. It's an INTENTIONAL change to hurt shops that do serious investigative journalism, so as to boost traffic to things like:
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Clara Jeffery Oct 16
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
5/ Zuckerberg had Ben Shapiro over to dinner to court him? WTF, seriously? Guess who's not invited to dinner? Hey Mark, I only live a few blocks from you.
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Clara Jeffery Oct 16
Replying to @MotherJones
6/ What did these changes in algorithm mean to ? Someting like $400,000 to $600,000 a year. That's big for a news org our size. This year, we've done everything we can to not lay people off. But it's meant pay cuts for our higher paid employees, loss of 401K match.
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Clara Jeffery Oct 16
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
7/ Over the years, Facebook has bribed, essentially, big news orgs to pivot to video, only to be caught inflating the revenue estimates, and costing huge layoffs at some places. Facebook is a garbage company.
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Clara Jeffery Oct 16
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
8/ Facebook a) pumps disinfo over real news b) works in concert with some of the absolute worst actors on the Right c) didn't see the horrific results of livestreaming massacres coming. It is a toxic cesspool and directly implicated in everything tearing our country apart.
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Clara Jeffery Oct 16
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
9/ They're doing all this INTENTIONALLY. It's not a mistake. It's not blinders. It's purposeful.
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Clara Jeffery Oct 16
Replying to @MonikaBauerlein
10/ Now as it happens, this is our annual fundraising drive time. We rely on readers to give to support our journalism. Because of Facebook, that support is even more crucial. wrote a lovely piece about our priorities at this key time:
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Clara Jeffery Oct 16
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
11/ So if you'd like to contribute a little bit toward the hole that Facebook intentionally created just for us, I'd be super appreciative. And VOTE:
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Clara Jeffery Oct 16
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
12/ AND they directly lied to our social media team. Facebook is a garbage company. You work there, you're complicit in the Pandora's Box of shit they've let loose on the world.
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Clara Jeffery Oct 16
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
13/ Just heard from some folks inside/formerly of Facebook. It's even worse than what I just laid out. If you want to talk, hmu at cjeffery on Signal or DM me here.
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Clara Jeffery Oct 16
Replying to @bendreyfuss
14/ , head of MoJo's social media team, wrote about what it means to be lied to (perhaps b/c they're unwittingly passing along lies of their bosses) by FB counterparts. But per what I'm learning, FB just lied to him, again, here:
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Clara Jeffery Oct 21
Replying to @MotherJones
15/ SCOOP: Facebook ran experiments on an algorithm change in Jan 2018 and when it hurt traffic to right-wing opinion sites, they retooled it to shift harm to progressive NEWS sites, among them. And there's a PowerPoint deck out there:
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Clara Jeffery Oct 21
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
16/ This revamp of the algorithm came at the behest of Joel Kaplan and other Republican lobbyists at Facebook:
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Clara Jeffery Oct 21
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
17/ The original intent of the algorithm change was to dial down incendiary pieces (and comments) in your feed. But when doing that harmed conservative sites, they freaked out:
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Clara Jeffery Oct 21
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
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Clara Jeffery Oct 21
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
19/ One source recalls charts for impacts on about a dozen publishers. Who else was named in the deck? And who else was impacted beyond that dozen? News companies, esp for-profit/VC-funded, are reticent to talk about traffic falling, but a lot more digging to be done.
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Clara Jeffery Oct 21
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
20/ Upshot: Facebook used its monopolistic power to boost and suppress specific publishers’ content, something Facebook and other companies have been strenuously denying for years. And they did it for internal partisan reasons.
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Clara Jeffery Oct 21
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
21/ Takeaway: Conservatives have been so good at working the refs at Facebook that not only is the company unwilling to rein in activity that contributed to the climate they didn't want, they went out of their way to harm progressive news orgs instead.
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Clara Jeffery Oct 21
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
22/ So the next time Conservatives cry about "shadow banning" or "bias," just remember that, so far at least, they've *benefited* from Facebook's lobbyists running interference with the product team. Hurt was us, and who knows how many other news orgs?
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Clara Jeffery Oct 21
Replying to @ClaraJeffery
21/ In conclusion, please send me or the media reporter of your choosing this deck.
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Clara Jeffery Oct 21
Replying to @andymstone
22/ Please pay special attention to this non-denial denial from Facebook spox
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