Platforming Pedophiles, Peddling Disinformation, and Cutting Election Safeguards: Congrats to Meta Shareholders on Another Big Quarter

Real Facebook Oversight Board
3 min readJul 26, 2023

Real Facebook Oversight Board Releases Quarterly Harms Report for Q2 2023

The report is available here.

26 July 2013 — The Real Facebook Oversight Board today released its Quarterly Harms Report for Q2 2023, concurrent with Meta’s shareholder earnings call. What did Meta investors profit from in Q2?

  • Meta’s continued role as a hub platforming known disinformers and hate speech.
  • Pedophiles and traffickers running wild on Meta platforms.
  • Meta’s attack on journalism, restricting access to Meta’s platforms for credible news outlets — an issue that led Meta to ban the Real Facebook Oversight Board from Instagram.
  • Evisceration of the few remaining election safeguards in the run-up to the 2024 elections, including an alarming CNN report that Meta laid off critical staff responsible for countering election disinformation and troll or harassment campaigns.

“Meta will claim a big win with Threads, but the company’s platforms continue to be a home for extremism, hate and disinformation — with more to come,” said the Real Facebook Oversight Board.

Findings for Q2 include:

  • For example: conservative commentator Dan Bongino dominated Facebook’s Top Ten posts, appearing more times than any other user, except news agencies like the AP and Fox News. This quarter, Bongino had a Top Ten spot for 1/4th of the time, or 19 of the 74 days analyzed. He has been identified as one of several “superspreader” misinformers on Facebook, according to research by Avaaz, the Elections Integrity Partnership, and the New York Times.
  • Accounts such as “Donald Trump for President,” “Donald Trump is Our President,” “President Trump is My Wingman,” and former President Trump himself flooded Facebook’s Top Ten posts for the quarter.
  • They were joined by even more disinformers like Breitbart, Newsmax, PragerU, and America’s Last Line Of Defense, who actively encourage the spread of conspiracy theories, misleading journalism, or false, clickbait headlines. Collectively, these accounts appeared in the Top Ten posts more than 17 times in the 74 days of the quarter.

The Quarterly Harms report also looked at:

  • How Instagram users can request and purchase custom videos and pictures from pedophiles’ accounts of children performing sexual acts, harming themselves, or being sexually abused.
  • Meta’s reinstatement of known disinformer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and how in the lead up to the 2024 election Meta has “made cuts to its teams that tackle disinformation and coordinated troll and harassment campaigns on its platforms.”
  • Meta’s unexplained banning of the Real Facebook Oversight Board on Instagram.

“No profit is worth this level of disruption to democracy and credible information,” the RFOB added. “Meta investors need to take a harder look at what they’re profiting from.”

The report is available here.

Real Facebook Oversight Board members are available for interviews. Statements do not reflect the individual positions of all Real Facebook Oversight Board Members. Contact us at media@the-citizens.com.

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Real Facebook Oversight Board

An emergency response to the ongoing harms on Facebook’s platforms from leading global scholars, experts and advocates.