Facebook blocks the Spinner's 'brainwashing' tech

Facebook blocks the Spinner's 'brainwashing' tech
  • Clock-gray 19:15
  • calendar-gray 17 January 2020

Facebook has issued a cease and desist notice to an Israeli firm that claims to be able to subconsciously alter people's behaviour, APA reports citing BBC.

The Spinner charges a fee to "subconsciously influence" targets by exposing them to online posts "disguised as editorial content".

But Facebook has objected to the start-up using its services to achieve this.

And the tech giant has barred the firm and its chief from using Facebook or Instagram for any reason.

In response, the Spinner's co-founder and chief operating officer Elliot Shefler told the BBC that it would continue to sell targeted online campaigns and refused to rule out using Facebook in the future.

To do this, it shows dozens of articles about the issue to targets over a period of months via the internet, including in their social media feeds.

Facebook's law firm Perkins Coie has sent a letter to Mr Shefler to complain.

"It appears that the Spinner uses fake accounts and fake Facebook Pages to 'strategically bombard' Facebook users with advertisements," it reads.

"These activities violate Facebook's terms and advertising policies. Facebook demands that you stop this activity immediately."

The Californian firm told the BBC that it had already removed the Spinner's accounts.

"We have no tolerance for bad actors that try to circumvent our policies and create bad experiences for people on Facebook," a spokesman said.

Mr Shefler pointed out that the Spinner had bought advertising slots on Facebook for more than a year, and each of its ads had been reviewed and approved.

Facebook uses both humans and automated software to vet ads submitted via its self-service tools.

But Mr Shefler added: "The Spinner's ability to deliver content to targeted users is not dependent on any specific social account or page. It's a concept."


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