Facebook Admits Ben Shapiro’s The Daily Wire Has Engaged in Pay-for-Engagement Scam

Judd Legum, reporting for Popular Information:

Facebook has concluded there is an undisclosed financial relationship between The Daily Wire, the website founded by right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro, and Mad World News, a notorious outlet that exploits fear and bigotry for profit. This relationship, Facebook acknowledges, violates its rules.

Last week, Popular Information exposed how The Daily Wire has gained unprecedented distribution on Facebook through its relationship with Mad World News. Five large Facebook pages controlled by Mad World News expanded The Daily Wire’s audience by millions through the coordinated posting of dozens of links from The Daily Wire each day. […]

“After further investigation, we’ve found that these Pages violate our policies against undisclosed paid relationships between publishers. Our enforcement typically focuses on the Page distributing the cross-promoted content, which is why we are temporarily demoting Mad World News. We are also warning Daily Wire and will demote them if we see this behavior continue,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

Put aside the politics and it’s clear that Facebook “engagement” is a game riddled with grifters. Kind of hard to put aside the politics though:

The disparate treatment between Mad World News and The Daily Wire raises questions. Why are the sites being treated differently when they conspired together to violate the same Facebook rule? What was the influence of Shapiro’s personal relationship with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg?

Thursday, 2 July 2020