Protocols, Not Platforms: A Technological Approach to Free Speech | Knight First Amendment Institute
knightcolumbia.org
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Given the myriad problems posed by social media platforms - content moderation, disinformation, censorship, privacy, anti-trust - this article "proposes an entirely different approach... that enables more free speech, while minimizing ... trolling, hateful speech, and large-scale disinformation efforts... also might help users ... regain cont…

50 Resources and five editions later (US2020 Disinformation news, ed. 5) | by Mathew Lowry | Nov, 2020 | Medium
mathewlowry.medium.com

What did I learn from Hubbing 50 resources and writing five editions on disinformation during the US elections?

How Some Conservatives Have Switched to Parler, Rumble and Newsmax (FN)
www.nytimes.com
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Fleeting Note (FN): the creation of Fediverse-based alternatives might suddenly become an urgency.

Facebook Manipulated the News You See to Appease Republicans, Insiders Say – Mother Jones
www.motherjones.com
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When changing their Newsfeed algorithm, Facebook's tests found "a dramatic impact on the reach of right-wing “junk sites,”... [by] January 2018 a second iteration dialed up the harm to progressive-leaning news organizations instead... Mother Jones was singled out as one that would suffer... Daily Wire was identified as one that would be…

A new study finds that Facebook is not censoring conservatives despite their repeated attacks | Media Matters for America
www.mediamatters.org
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right-leaning pages outperformed ... or performed similarly to left-leaning pages... consistently earned more average weekly interactions than left-leaning pages... both ... earned similar engagement rates... right-leaning Facebook pages tallied ... 43% of total interactions earned by pages posting about American political news, despite accounting…

09/11/2020
How Facebook and Twitter Handled Their First Major Election Day Tests | by Sarah Emerson | Nov, 2020 | OneZero
onezero.medium.com
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Several of the president’s tweets overlaid with disclaimers ... invoking Twitter's Civic Integrity Policy, which prevents users from manipulating elections. Trump’s tweets also effectively throttled by preventing other users from amplifying them. Facebook’s measures were less accusatory, attaching an informational label.Neither stopped Trump …

Opinion | Facebook and Twitter Are Still Tinkering With Democracy - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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Another analysis - with a lot of useful links - of the way social platforms managed the NYPost story, and what it tells us "about the status of social media companies’ reform efforts, and [how]... they are still failing to safeguard the democratic process?"First some facts:The NYPost article's "sourcing was so dubious that at l…

Social Media and the Hunter Biden Report - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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The platforms started doing what people concerned about disinformation have been asking for, and immediately came under fire from people concerned about censorship.When The New York Post published a story supposedly incriminating Hunter Biden "YouTube largely did nothing, Facebook deprioritized the Post story (slowing spread until 3rd party f…

Facebook Stymied Traffic to Left-Leaning News Outlets: Report
gizmodo.com

Facebook's 2017 newsfeed algorithm tweak intentionally reduced traffic to left-leaning outlets " to avoid adding fuel to critics’ argument that the platform has an anti-conservative bias"... and overcorrected."Mother Jones saw a roughly $400,000 drop in the site’s annual revenue"

Domestic v. foreign disinformation: A question of timing (US2020 Disinformation news, ed. 4) | by Mathew Lowry | Oct, 2020 | Medium
medium.com
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There are two possible reasons why we are not talking as much about foreign interference. Both could be true. Only one is good news.

A Profanity Filter Banned the Word 'Bone' at a Paleontology Conference
www.vice.com

“Words like ‘bone,’ ‘pubic,’ and ‘stream’ are frankly ridiculous to ban in a field where we regularly find pubic bones in streams,”.The text filter algorithm had some classic examples of embedded human biases - "Wang" was censored, "Johnson" was not.

19/10/2020
Facebook Banned Holocaust Denial. What Took Them So Long? | Time
time.com
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Facebook's now explicitly banning "any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust, after years of allowing people to deny that the genocide occurred", reversing their longtime stance of not trying to define truth.According to "Facebook’s former head of global elections integrity for political ads ... [Zuckerberg] still seems…

Trump Covid post deleted by Facebook and hidden by Twitter - BBC News
www.bbc.com
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Facebook deleted post where Trump claimed Covid-19 was "less lethal" than the flu, while Twitter hid it behind a warning about "spreading misleading and potentially harmful information". Covid-19 thought to be up to 10 times more lethal than most flu strains. Trump's reaction: "REPEAL SECTION 230!!!" His propo…

Facebook completely bans QAnon and labels it a ‘militarized social movement’ - The Verge
www.theverge.com
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All forms of content related to QAnon are banned, excepting posts from individual profiles, "even if they contain no violent content" - a significant update of Facebook's anti-Q August sweep - effectively treating it as an “identified Militarized Social Movement... no different than an extremist militia group, but not quite on the l…

Is Russian Meddling as Dangerous as We Think?  | The New Yorker
www.newyorker.com
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Literature note: “How to Lose the Information War,” ... on disinformation as a geopolitical strategy...Mueller report: I.R.A.-created groups and accounts reached tens of millions... the troll factory found “authentic, local voices,” to foment large-scale distrust in government and democracy... and managed to get into the heads of powerful politici…

Facebook Arbiter Of Truth Already, Employees Say
www.buzzfeednews.com
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Facebook’s Preferential Treatment Of US Conservatives Puts Its Fact-Checking Program In Dangeremployees and fact-checking partners ... left in the dark about how the company decides what content stays up and what comes down... PragerU’s second strike for false content that month ... should have triggered “repeat offender” penalties ... false labe…

Zuckerberg, Trump and the protests: Facebook’s muddled makeover | Financial Times
www.ft.com
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Facebook is wary of being drawn further into a political argument ahead ... divisive presidential election ... ... steer clear of fact-checking political advertisements... keen not to antagonise Mr Trump ... claiming that social media platforms are biased against Republican ... purely a business decision ... ubiquitous... it must always align with…

Dear Facebook employees, - Barry Schnitt
medium.com
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"We believe in Facebook’s mission that giving people tools to make the world more open is a better way to combat ignorance or deception than censorship.” It turns out that I was wrong... There are more options than just being “open” and “censorship”... The more successful Facebook is ... the more ignorance, deception ...in the world...Facebo…

Defying Trump, Twitter Doubles Down on Labeling Tweets - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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Trump signed an executive order ... easier for federal regulators to argue that companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter were suppressing free speech when they suspended users or deleted posts... Twitter has doubled down... added fact-checking labels to ... spokesman for China’s foreign ministry ... tweets that falsely claimed a photo... was …

Let’s Not Put the Government in Charge of Moderating Facebook
onezero.medium.com
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proposal ... for a U.S. government agency to regulate online speech... on all social media.... fails to make the case... the idea that a government agency would necessarily do better is naive... think about exactly who would appoint that agency’s leader, and to what political ends they might seek to put it...

The EU Copyright Directive: Winners, Losers, and What Happens Next…
medium.com
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copyright organisations ... succeeded in their lobbying ... establish a narrative that those who criticised the Directive were reeled in by hysterical propaganda or puppets of Google... or against cultural creators... intensity of the lobbying stepped up ... Half of Strasbourg was wearing yellow #yes2copyright sashes ... two years of implementat…

Facebook, Twitter, and Google are still failing to curb hate speech, EU says - The Verge
www.theverge.com
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Tech companies may face new legislation after struggling to comply with voluntary code of conduct... Under a code of conduct announced in May, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Microsoft agreed to review and respond to “the majority” of hate speech complaints within 24 hours

Fake News: Be Careful What You Wish For – Whither news? – Medium
medium.com
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Do we really want to set up Facebook or Google as censors ... to decide what is real and fake, true and false?

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