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Tu appréhendes chaque colle d’anglais par peur de ne savoir quoi dire ? Tu souhaites commencer à préparer sérieusement les oraux ? Que l’anglais soit ta LV1 ou ta LV2, cet article est fait pour toi !

Pour t’entraîner à cette épreuve parfois redoutable, voici un article extrait du New York Times, assez similaire à ceux donnés dans les grandes écoles au moment des oraux. Celui-ci remonte à avant l’élection présidentielle américaine, mais reste largement d’actualité.

Découvre ensuite une proposition de corrigé afin de savoir comment un tel sujet aurait pu être traité !

 

Facebook Widens Ban on Political Ads as Alarm Rises Over Election

Over the past few weeks, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, and his lieutenants have watched the US presidential race with an increasing sense of alarm.

 

Growing concerns

Executives have held meetings to discuss President Donald Trump’s evasive comments about whether he would accept a peaceful transfer of power if he lost the election. They watched Trump tell the Proud Boys, a far-right group that has endorsed violence, to “stand back and stand by”.

And they have had conversations with civil rights groups, who have privately told them that the company needs to do more because Election Day could erupt into chaos, Facebook employees said. That has resulted in new actions.

On Wednesday (Oct 7), Facebook said it would take more preventive measures to keep political candidates from using it to manipulate the election’s outcome and its aftermath.

The company now plans to prohibit all political and issue-based advertising after the polls close on Nov 3 for an undetermined length of time. And it said it would place notifications at the top of the News Feed notifying people that no winner had been decided until a victor was declared by news outlets.

 

A very unique election

“This is shaping up to be a very unique election,” Guy Rosen, vice president for integrity at Facebook, said in a call with reporters on Wednesday.

Facebook is doing more to safeguard its platform after introducing measures to reduce election misinformation and interference on its site just last month. At the time, Facebook said it planned to ban new political ads for a contained period – the week before Election Day – and would act swiftly against posts that tried to dissuade people from voting.

Zuckerberg also said Facebook would not make any other changes until there was an official election result.

But the additional moves underscore the sense of emergency about the election, as the level of contentiousness has risen between Trump and his opponent, Joe Biden.

On Tuesday (Oct 6), to help blunt further political turmoil, Facebook also said it would remove any group, page or Instagram account that openly identified with QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy movement.

Policies against voter intimidation instituted by Facebook four years ago have been consistently expanded to account for new trends and tactics to intimidate or prevent voting, according to vice president of content policy Monika Bickert.

Facebook already banned posts directly urging people to go to polling places with weapons or to stop people from voting.

The open-ended ban on political advertising is especially significant, after Facebook resisted calls to remove the ads for months.

 

Quelques rappels de méthode

La lecture du texte doit être attentive mais rapide. N’oublie pas que tu ne disposes que de vingt minutes pour préparer l’ensemble de ton exposé, résumé et commentaire compris.

 

L’introduction

L’introduction doit être entièrement rédigée. Il s’agit en effet du premier contact avec le jury : il faut donc éviter à tout prix les fautes de langue et démontrer ses capacités rhétoriques. L’introduction se compose d’une accroche brève pour introduire le sujet évoqué par l’article, puis d’une présentation générale de celui-ci. C’est notamment le moment d’évoquer le contexte dans lequel l’article a été écrit (en regardant pour cela sa date de publication) et de rappeler la source dont il est extrait. Pour décrire l’article dans ses grandes lignes, on pourra penser à répondre aux questions en « wh- ». When? Where? Who? What? Why?

 

Le résumé de l’article

Pendant la préparation, le résumé peut, lui, être écrit sous la forme de bullet points. L’objectif est bien évidemment de gagner du temps pour écrire le commentaire.

Là où l’introduction se limite à ses énoncés très généraux sur le contenu de l’article, le résumé doit lui rentrer dans la complexité du texte. Il faut éviter à tout prix de reprendre tous les exemples donnés par l’article pour démontrer son propos : il s’agit avant tout de synthétiser. Pour ce faire, il peut s’avérer utile de distinguer deux ou trois idées clés dans l’article. Pour chaque idée, il faut reformuler avec des mots distincts ce que l’article cherche à dire, puis illustrer avec l’un des exemples fournis par l’article (une citation ou un chiffre particulièrement marquant notamment).

Il faut garder à l’esprit que le résumé ne doit pas occuper une part majeure du temps total de l’exposé. Il sert avant tout à évaluer les capacités analytiques de l’élève, ainsi que sa capacité à reformuler ce qui est dit dans l’article.

 

Le commentaire

L’une des parties les plus essentielles vient en revanche avec le moment de la transition. Celle-ci doit permettre d’établir un lien logique entre l’article et le commentaire qui en est proposé. La question qui guide le commentaire doit trouver un équilibre parfois complexe. Il s’agit de rester proche du texte – pour éviter de tomber dans le hors sujet – tout en prenant une certaine hauteur de vue.

Le commentaire ressemble en réalité beaucoup au format de la Q2 à l’écrit. Il s’agit de donner une opinion tranchée, mais nuancée, sur le sujet proposé. Le format reste cependant plus libre qu’à l’écrit en termes de nombre de parties ou d’exemples. Le tout reste de démontrer quelque chose de pertinent par rapport à l’article qui était proposé.

 

La conclusion

 

Proposition de corrigé

Introduction

For years, Facebook has been striving to avoid another 2016 election fiasco, when it was used by Russian operatives to spread disinformation and to destabilize the American electorate. Mr. Zuckerberg has since spent billions of dollars to hire new employees for the company’s “integrity” and security divisions, who identify and clamp down on potential interferences.

Therefore, the 2020 election was a key moment for Facebook to deem whether or not it had managed to improve its security. Given the tense context and the fierce rivalry between Mr Trump and Mr Biden’s supporters, the world’s largest social network was indeed under a lot of pressure. This article, extracted from the New York Times, precisely sheds light on the growing concerns of the Facebook operatives just before the vote on Novembre 3rd and on Facebook’s decision to widen the ban on political ads.

 

Résumé de l’article

The article focuses on Facebook’s latest decision regarding political ads and misinformation after Election day. Facebook decided that political ads will be banned indefinitely after polls close on Nov. 3 and has thus implemented new steps to limit misinformation about the results. This ban will remain active until a clear winner has been given for the Presidential race.

This decision has been driven by the concerns that several extremist political groups, such as the Proud Boys, a group of far-right activists, might try to claim that the election was rigged in order to spread chaos in the United States. Similarly, it is believed that QAnon, an alt-right conspiracy group is attempting to spread misinformation ads “fake news” so as to call into question the accuracy of the results. In light on these concerns, Facebook officials such as the vice president of content policy Monika Bickert, have been consistently trying to reassure Facebook users and to recall that Facebook has made immense progress in terms of fighting against political intimidation since the 2016 scandal.

 

Transition

Although the article does not seem to express a clear judgement regarding Facebook’s new policies, the will shown by the social network’s operatives to control the nature of information spread on the website could still be very well challenged. Indeed, given how sacred freedom of speech is in the United States – it is one of the fundamental underpinnings enshrined in the US Constitution -, it may seem quite peculiar that a private company could decide what has the right (or not) to be seen and published. The following question could then be raided: is it truly the role of social networks to intervene on the political stage? 

 

Commentaire de l’article

Over the past few years, a strong political trend has been pushing for more regulations on social networks. Yet how successful these efforts have been is questionable. Facebook, for instance, continues to find and take down foreign interference campaigns, including three Russian disinformation networks as recently as a month ago. Although in 2020, there was no scandal similar to the Cambridge Analytica turmoil four years ago, domestic misinformation has also mushroomed, as Facebook has said it will not police speech from politicians and other leading figures for truthfulness. Mr. Zuckerberg, who supports unfettered speech, has not wavered from that position as Mr. Trump posted falsehoods and misleading comments on the site.

In fact, Facebook is even lagging behind other social media companies in banning political ads. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, banned all political ads from the service a year ago on the grounds that they could rapidly spread misinformation and had “significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle”.

However, Facebook’s position may be the most well-balanced. Twitter’s blanket ban on all political ads, to which Facebook has not resorted yet, also had dramatic consequences for honest politicians with no manipulatory intentions. Mr. Zuckerberg has for instance correctly asserted that ads give less well-known politicians the ability to promote themselves, and that eliminating those ads could hurt their chances at broadening their support base online.

In such a momentous moment for the United States, it is indeed rather preferable for social networks to remain absolutely neutral. Otherwise, although it may be tempting to ban or report all fake allegations and political claims (as Twitter currently does with most of Mr Trump’s tweets), such decisions ultimately reinforce what Mr Trump’s supporters tend to believe, i.e that the system is rigged agains them.

 

Conclusion

People have been able to see through the lies of politicians for centuries, and they probably do not need algorithms to decide for them what is true or not, especially since, on the long term, this very attitude could jeopardize freedom of speech and thereby undermine the American democratic system.

 

 

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Pierre Faury

Etudiant à HEC Paris