Brittany Kaiser: Facebook should ban Trump disinformation

By Lucy Ingham

Facebook should ban inaccurate and misleading content posted by US President Donald Trump in accordance with its standards for non-political users, Brittany Kaiser, former Cambridge Analytica business development director-turned whistleblower, has said.

Speaking at a talk at technology conference Collision from Home, Kaiser said Facebook should “absolutely” change its policy of not fact-checking content posted by Trump and other politicians.

“You and I are held to community standards. I am not allowed to go and spread fake news and disinformation from my own account, yet if President Trump decides to then that content won’t be removed,” she said.

“In fact, it took direct disinformation about the US Census for it to be the first time that Trump campaign content in 2020 was taken down.”

Kaiser worked from Cambridge Analytica between 2015 and 2018, before following former colleague Christopher Wylie in becoming a whistleblower over the company’s harvesting of data from Facebook users and using it to manipulate voters. She has since founded the Own Your Data Foundation.

In 2019 she published the memoir Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower’s Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again.

Brittany Kaiser calls on social media to take steps over bad actors

During the Collision talk Kaiser also lamented the failure to prevent malicious use of social media over the last few years.

“I think one of the saddest missed opportunities of social media is that we haven’t paid enough attention about how we can prevent bad actors from using these platforms,” she said.

“Tech executives have been too slow to address some of these problems, they still have not made the investment that we require in order to protect ourselves.

“And I think it’s going to take an entire new generation, where kids are taught to read the terms and conditions before they download an app and all of their data is taken from them without explicit informed consent, a whole new generation in order to really prevent the problems that we see in people my age and older.

“We are addicted to devices, we are targeted with negative content. We are so easy to manipulate these days, but I really hope that I don’t see the same for my children and grandchildren.”

Read more: Trump vs tech: The dilemma of social media censorship, aired