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Even a Republican study can’t confirm anti-conservative bias on Facebook

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Is Facebook biased against conservatives? An independent review led by former Sen. Jon Kyl set out to answer that question last year. 

Now, the results are in. The answer? Inconclusive. But the methodology behind the “audit” is highly dubious.

On Tuesday, the long-awaited report was released, along with a Wall Street Journal op-ed by the former Arizona GOP senator.

“Facebook has recognized the importance of our assessment and has taken some steps to address the concerns we uncovered,” Kyl writes in the report. “But there is still significant work to be done to satisfy the concerns we heard from conservatives.” Read more…

More about Facebook, Social Media, Right Wing, Conservative, and Bias

Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint are throttling online video 24/7, study says

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A new study is putting U.S. wireless carriers on blast for slowing down online video traffic, even during periods where they claim they are not.

Research conducted by Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts found that wireless companies — including the main four U.S. carriers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, all slowed down video traffic from early 2018 to 2019. 

The resulting effect for consumers is delayed load times, buffering, and degradation in quality when streaming video content. 

These carriers have long maintained that this practice, known as throttling, is done to avoid congestion. However, the study found that online video throttling was occurring around the clock, regardless of congestion. Read more…

More about Verizon, T Mobile, Sprint, At T, and Throttling

Amazon sellers advertise freebies on Facebook—just don’t forget to leave a review

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Facebook users are being inundated with ads offering free electronics on Amazon. The catch? They need to put down money upfront and leave a review.

Over the past few months, I’ve noticed an uptick in the frequency of targeted Facebook ads offering free electronics, including smartphone batteries, wireless security cameras, and microphones, as well as beauty supplies. 

To receive the item, all the user has to do is leave a fake or incentivized review of the product on Amazon. It sounds like a scam. But, I signed up for some freebies as a test. I received them. It works.

So, what’s the big deal? A study from marketing agency BrightLocal found that more than 80 percent of consumers trust product reviews as much as they would a friend’s recommendation. Incentivized reviews take advantage of that trustFake reviews are a big problem on Amazon, which now makes up approximately 50 percent of the entire ecommerce market. Read more…

More about Facebook, Amazon, Reviews, Consumer, and Ftc