Facebook Manipulated the News You See to Appease Republicans, Insiders Say – Mother Jones
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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…

Facebook Quietly Suspended Political Group Recommendations Ahead Of The US Presidential Election
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"Facebook quietly stopped recommending that people join online groups dealing with political or social issues", and will "assess when to lift them afterwards, but they are temporary." This part of the Facebook's AI plays a key role in pushing "people down a path of radicalization... groups reinforce like-minded views …

Revealed: Trump campaign strategy to deter millions of Black Americans from voting in 2016 – Channel 4 News
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"3.5 million Black Americans were categorised by Donald Trump’s campaign as ‘Deterrence’ – voters they wanted to stay home on election day."Part 1 of a Channel4 series on #DetteringDemocracy, analysing "data used by Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign... almost 200 million American voters... 5 terabytes of data... separated by…

As election looms, a network of mysterious ‘pink slime’ local news outlets nearly triples in size - Columbia Journalism Review
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pink slime: shadowy, politically backed “local news websites” designed to promote partisan talking points and collect user data... a network of 450 intricately linked sites ID's in Dec 2019 is now 1200 ...largest 2 networks: 90+% are algorithmically generated stories from publicly available data sets or by repurposing legitimate sources - the…

How social media platforms could flatten the curve of dangerous misinformation.
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Facebook is piloting a circuit breaker to stop viral spread of posts... might staunch the flow of dangerous incitement and misinformation ... America’s Frontline Doctors... pushed hydroxychloroquine ... Funded with dark money, promoted by influential accounts, advanced by algorithmic recommendations, and shared in large private Facebook groups... …

Understanding Media and Information Quality in an Age of Artificial Intelligence, Automation…
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Technology has altered the foundations of news and media, and as trust in media continues to decline, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and algorithms have come to play a critical role not only as threats to the integrity and quality of media, but also as a source of potential solutions. The core threats to information quality associated …

‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower
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Wylie ... the gay Canadian vegan who somehow ended up creating “Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare mindfuck tool”.... In 2014 Steve Bannon ... was Wylie’s boss. And Robert Mercer... Republican donor, was Cambridge Analytica’s investor... to bring big data and social media to an established military methodology – “information operations” – then t…

Opinion | How to Monitor Fake News - The New York Times
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Facebook and Twitter... algorithms ... are off limits ... almost impossible to monitor... make millions of what amount to editorial decisions, pumping out content without anyone fully understanding what is happening... opaque and slow to be discovered... government should require social media platforms ... open application programming interface.…

It's the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech | WIRED
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the capacity to spread ideas ... no longer limited by access to expensive... infrastructure. It’s limited instead by one’s ability to garner and distribute attention. And right now, the flow of the world’s attention is structured... by just a few digital platforms:... tincreasingly stand in for the public sphere itself... at their core... They’re …

The Automatic Weapons of Social Media – NewCo Shift
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the response from the platforms is the equivalent of politicians’ “hopes and prayers” after a school shooting... irrefutable proof that these actors are leveraging social media ... to force divisive and often false narratives into our public discourse... Twitter, Facebook, and Google have not taken a more ambitious approach to stopping abuse of…

News Feed FYI: Helping Ensure News on Facebook Is From Trusted Sources | Facebook Newsroom
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In 2018, we will prioritize News from publications that the community rates as trustworthy... that people find informative... relevant to people’s local community... We surveyed ... people using Facebook across the US to gauge their familiarity with, and trust in, various different sources ...

The scale of misinformation online is global. First Draft is pushing for more collaboration — and more research — as an antidote » Nieman Journalism Lab

a report published with the Council of Europe... offers better categorizations for the tangle of bad information ... more specific than “fake news” ... [for] The U.S. midterms ... build out a hub ... monitoring disinformation, connecting with newsrooms around the country... we can start scaling it globally in 2019... The benefit of having centrali…

Bias, Bullshit and Lies: Audience Perspectives on Low Trust in the Media | Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Even in a world where people increasingly get news from social media, the professional news media is still seen as largely to blame for low trust... Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism examines the underlying reasons for trust and distrust ...Bias, spin and hidden agendas come across as the main reasons...perceived decline in journalisti…

Once considered a boon to democracy, social media have started to look like its nemesis
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“We wanted democracy... but got mobocracy.”... Bots generated one out of every five political messages posted on Twitter in America’s presidential campaign last year... “we need to reform our attention economy.”... groups which had mostly been excluded from the mainstream media... developed the dark arts they would use to further their agendas..…

Google and Facebook Can’t Just Make Fake News Disappear
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Fake news is too big and messy to solve with algorithms or editors — because the problem is….us... Racing to implement Band-Aids may feel good, but ... creates a distraction while enabling the underlying issues to flourish... I mostly see “fake news” being deployed by folks as a new frame for pushing long-standing agendas and commitments... coun…

Clamping down on viral fake news, Facebook partners with sites like Snopes and adds new user reporting

Users will be able to mark stories as fake...algorithm will look at whether a large number of people are reporting a particular article, whether or not the article is going viral, and whether the article has a high rate of shares... create an algorithm-vetted set of links that then goes on to a team of researchers within Facebook... links are sent…

I read almost 50 articles on Fake News so you don’t have to (Topics, Dec 15; updated)
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A work in progress from an upcoming eponymous post. Another experiment with the enewsletter format: some initial thoughts on this seemingly intractable problem, with some of the source materials I’m studying.

Facebook blocks links to B.S. Detector, fake news warning plugin | TechCrunch
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Not only is Facebook not providing little red warnings along with links to potentially specious news—it’s now blocking links to the plugin that did... . “It would seem I’ve caused them some embarrassment by showing them to be full of bull when it comes to their supposed inability to address fake news and they are punishing me for it.”... Update #…

Facebook is patenting a tool that could help automate removal of fake news - The Verge
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Facebook’s application for Patent 0350675: “systems and methods to identify objectionable content.” ... filed in June 2015, describes a sophisticated system for identifying inappropriate text and images and removing them from the network... improve the detection of pornography, hate speech, and bullying... much easier to identify than false news s…

Google, democracy and the truth about internet search | Technology | The Guardian
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There’s large-scale, statistically significant research into the impact of search results on political views... Google is doing a horrible, horrible job of delivering answers here. It can and should do better... people are finally saying, ‘Gee, Facebook and Google really have a lot of power’ like it’s this big revelation. And it’s like, ‘D’oh.’”…

Misinformation on social media: Can technology save us?
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my research team’s analysis of data from Columbia University’s Emergent rumor tracker suggests that this misinformation is just as likely to go viral as reliable information... limiting news fakers’ ability to sell ads... a step in the right direction. But it will not curb abuses driven by political motives... Using BotOrNot, our colleagues found…

The fake news wars go viral with Melissa’s List

Zuckerberg’s emerging dilemma. He doesn’t want Facebook ... to be an arbiter of what’s legit and what’s not. But if Facebook is now going to prohibit fake news sites from using its ad network to sell ads, it will need a list of its own... Google has long had its own list of legitimate news sources... hasn’t apparently wanted to cut into its own…

Facebook’s Quest to Stop Fake News Risks Becoming Slippery Slope

There’s bad information out there that’s not necessarily fake. It’s never as clear-cut as you think... Facebook’s algorithm may not understand the various shades of falsehood. Facebook could tweak its algorithm to promote related articles from sites like FactCheck.org so they show up next to questionable stories on the same topic in the news fee…

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