Facebook sold ad space to a shady Russian company during the 2016 election

This whole Russia interfering in the election thing has gone from fascinating to terrifying to trying. I can only assume that by the next revelation it'll circle back but the start.

As for the news now, Facebook has revealed that it sold $100K worth of ad space to a Russian company linked to the Kremlin. The ads weren't tied to candidates but instead played on divisive issues, which really just a proxy for the candidates. The Washington Post reports,

Representatives of Facebook told congressional investigators Wednesday that it has discovered it sold ads during the U.S. presidential election to a shadowy Russian company seeking to target voters, according to several people familiar with the company’s findings.

Facebook officials reported that they traced the ad sales, totaling $100,000, to a Russian “troll farm” with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda, these people said.

 

 

Minorty Report in 140 characters or less

A study out of Cardiff University has shown that Twitter can be used to predict events like riots and that it can be done faster than by police reports. Using the 2011 London Riots as a dataset, they fed 1.6 million tweets through their machine learning algorithm and it identified incidents faster than traditional methods. In each case their system was faster than police receiving on the ground reports.

This isn't quite the Oracle of Delphi yet but one can imagine that a behavioral analysis placed on top of this detection system could have some real predictive power.

via The Verge