While battling misinformation, Google and Facebook also fund it Highlights

  • MIT Technology reviews investigate that the companies have provided millions of dollars to their respective content that have worsened the global misinformation.
  • MIT Technology Review, 60-percent of all domains registered to Facebook Instant Article were used for spam activities
  • Before the 2016 elections, advertisers across the globe used AdSense funds to reach the American audience with clickbait.

There are hundreds of them, all of which have received thousands of views and engagements. It was discovered by MIT Technology Review in early November that there were still dozens of duplicate fake live videos from this timeframe. Facebook removed some of them after we selected them for attention, but still, dozens more, not just the pages that posted them, have been viewed more than 200,000 times and 160,000 times, respectively.
One of the identical pairs has been viewed more than 200,000 times and 160,000 times, respectively, and it declares that “I am the only one who broadcasts live in real-time from all over the country.” This is an issue that Osborne says has been addressed over the past year, and the company has cut down on the distribution of fake Lives.

In MIT Technology Review’s investigation, it was revealed that the companies had provided millions of dollars to support their respective content initiatives that have worsened the global misinformation epidemic. Since Facebook launched the Instant Article initiative, clickbait websites and fake news sources have taken advantage of all engagement to share plagiarized, sensational content that has led to a human rights horror story for a minority sect in Myanmar. Additionally, one of the leaked Facebook internal research documents revealed the company knew about rampant plagiarism on its platform but did not take steps to resolve it for fear of legal tussles and engagement drops.

The existence of online tutorials enabled the growth of content farms, and game-playing Facebook’s safety measures became so easy that it was reported that one individual was solely responsible for managing 11,000 Facebook accounts. According to the report, an estimated half a million Americans were also reached by clickbait content farms in Kosovo and Macedonia.

According to data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook tool, six of the 10 most engaging websites on Facebook in Myanmar were legitimate news sources last year. Later that year, Facebook (which recently rebranded to Meta) launched the Instant Article program, which allowed publishers to monetize their content.

The top 10 publishers on Facebook in Myanmar accounted for only two legitimate publishers one year after that rollout. This number has since fallen to zero. There has been no engagement from real publishers; instead, it comes from fake news sites and clickbait. Considering that Facebook is synonymous with the internet in that country, the low-grade content overpowered other sources of information.

Myanmar has been flooded with clickbait actors overnight. They could generate 10 times their salary each month in ad revenue if they produced engaging and evocative content paid directly by Facebook.


As described by MIT Technology Review, 60-percent of all domains registered to Facebook Instant Article were used for spam activities. Automating content distribution is a cheap way for malicious parties to push live videos, handle Instagram, and distribute problematic articles while collecting a stable income from Facebook. Rio has been monitoring and identifying some missing page clusters in Vietnam and Cambodia for six months.

A popular strategy is to use fake live videos to gain followers quickly while allowing viewers to join a Facebook group disguised as a democratic community. Facebook’s recent rollout of in-stream ads on its live video service has Rio concerned that it will further encourage clickbait actors to fabricate their ads. A Cambodian cluster with eighteen pages began publishing highly harmful political misinformation within four months, with 16 million engagements and 1.6 million viewers. Facebook deleted all 18 pages in March, but new clusters are rapidly spinning up, and others are not.

In addition to Facebook, there were several enablers. The report describes how clickbait farms and bad actors take advantage of Google AdSense while spreading misinformation at the same time. Before the 2016 elections, advertisers across the globe used AdSense funds to reach the American audience with clickbait.

It is common for spammers to recycle their content repeatedly, and algorithms like those behind YouTube advance content with viral potential, so they are evading punishment. Clickbait community members shared Google Drive folders, providing information such as the most popular groups in more than 20 countries to expand their reach.

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