This is appearing after SA’s elections, which we hope have been manipulated only by the usual political forces and not by online trolls using Facebook, as happened in 2016 in the Great Brexit Scandal and the US presidential elections. After these two watershed events, the nature and debate about political manipulation has profoundly changed forever. In SA we’ve barely seen this kind of trickery — except with the vile Bell Pottinger Twitter bots in the last days of the state capture years. But that dastardly firm, Cambridge Analytica, changed all of that when it manipulated democracy itself in two of the biggest election upsets in the history of the democratic West. It is this sordid recent history that Facebook is trying to leave behind with a brand refresh and a "pivot" to "privacy". This is the new business model Facebook is pursuing, as explained by CEO Mark Zuckerberg at its F8 developers conference in San Jose last week. "The future is private," he said. Facebook’s news feed ha...

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