The former Facebook manager defends the social network and demands changes
The former security guard of Facebook is in Defense Department Alex Stamos, until 2015 the company's CSO until 2015, wrote a piece published on Saturday on Saturday in response to the New York Times report To dispel the Times report claiming that Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg had taken action for fear of setback after his team had discovered Russia's interference in the 2016 elections through a disinformation campaign on the platform .
I have some Geda Written on the big NYT article on Facebook. I hope we can get some momentum to solve these problems while we continue to blame for 2016.
However, I wanted to say something to the second comment on Sheryl that makes me uncomfortable. https://t.co/gjFdf3ZSh5[19659009-AlexStamos(@alexstamos) November 17, 2018
Stamos confirmed in the post that Sandberg, Facebook's COO, has actually shouted the day after he had thought the board of directors of Facebook about the investigation of the company in relation to the influence of Russia. Stamos claimed that Sandberg had "blinded himself to his account".
The former exec, however, was relentless that neither Sandberg nor anyone on Facebook told him he should not investigate Russia's influence and disguise its results. However, Stamos admitted that the company needed to act earlier and be more transparent in order to find out what was being revealed.
"At the time, technology companies were so excited about the value of our own products and focused on sophisticated attacks from US opponents such as Russia and China, for whom we overlooked less advanced but still effective propaganda operations," he wrote.
"Sure, nobody in the company ever told me not to investigate Russia's activities, and no one was trying to lie about our findings, but Facebook should have responded much earlier to these threats and make disclosure more transparent."
The piece titled "Yes, Facebook made mistakes in 2016, but we were not the only ones," was still trying to deviate from Facebook's specific role in spreading Russian influence campaigns in 2016 and focusing on the failure of Government and the media in this matter.
"Facebook's Deficits Are Not Alone: The massive US intelligence agencies did not provide actionable information on the objectives and capabilities of the Russian information war prior to the election, and then offered little support. Technology companies can build tools and teams to support them but they will never have geo-strategic insights or the ability to invade enemy countries. "Stamos wrote.
He then talked about how the relationship between government and technology was better in 2018, and estimated intelligence officials for improvement. Stamos also urged legislators for what he called "public panel of inquiry hearings" and aimed to get the mainstream media to publish stolen e-mails and documents from the DNC and Hillary Clinton Campaigns. He claims that the decision to publish this material rewarded "the hackers of the Russian main intelligence service (GRU)".
"The sad truth is that blocking Russian propaganda would have required Facebook to banish stories from the New York Times Wall Street Journal and cable news – not to mention this paper, "remarked Stamos.
Even though the media never dealt with their role in the 2016 elections, as Stamos suggested, this has nothing to do with the allegations on Facebook. By the time the hacked emails were released, they were revealing and certainly fair.
Stamos said that all stakeholders must come together to avoid repeating foreign impacts from 2016 in 2020 and they had some suggestions on how this could be done. He wishes for a political advertising standard set by Congress with additional information and support from companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. He also wants to clarify the responsibilities of governments and big tech industries and the cooperation between the two companies.
As far as the media are concerned, Stamos wants news agencies to set clear standards when it comes to reporting valuable data leaks.
Finally, Stamos wrote that it was up to the US people to adapt to a media environment in which "several dozen gatekeepers no longer control what is really important." While this is definitely a valid point, the sheer volume of suspicious messages being distributed on an increasing number of platforms will certainly play a role.