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Meet GPT-3. It Has Learned to Code (and Blog and Argue). - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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"GPT-3 ... generates tweets, pens poetry, summarizes emails, answers trivia questions, translates languages and even writes its own computer programs, all with very little prompting"It's surprised a lot of AI researchers, but also "often spews biased and toxic language" and isn't always convincing. It's a univers…

24/12/2020
Evaluating contradictory foreign interference allegations in the 2020 U.S. election | by @DFRLab | DFRLab | Oct, 2020 | Medium
medium.com
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DFRLab’s Foreign Interference Attribution Tracker (FIAT) database (see Interference2020.org) "captures allegations of foreign #us2020 interference... and assesses their credibility, bias, evidence, transparency, and impact".80 allegations were catalogued: a "sharp increase from 2016... vary widely in their evidence and objectivity, …

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…

Domestic v. foreign disinformation: A question of timing (US2020 Disinformation news, ed. 4)
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.

QAnon shows that the age of alternative facts will not end with Trump - Columbia Journalism Review
www.cjr.org
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With more than a dozen congressional candidates appearing on ballots in November, Qanon is mainstream. While it looks like a lot of other conspiracy theories, this research provides a fascinating look at how the conspiracy's "Bakers" co-create their knowledgescape."QAnon doesn’t simply offer readers insider insight into current…

Breaking democracy to hold power (US2020 Disinformation news, ed. 3)
medium.com
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How a decades-long election delegitimisation campaign, amplified by social media disinformation, intersects with the death of a Chief Justice in a GoT-worthy season finale of “US democracy: Endgame”.

Big Lies and Rotten Herrings: 17 Kremlin Disinformation Techniques You Need to Know Now – Byline Times
bylinetimes.com
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During the Cold War, the Soviets conducted over 10,000 disinformation operations, with up to 15000 KGB officers. Europe a target since 2015. Goal: weaken western democracy from within. This article sets out their most pertinent tactics:1) Narratives: post-Western world (the West no longer dominates); anti-(elite, EU, NATO) narratives; danger narra…

From foreign meddling to pink slime (US2020 Disinformation news, ed. 2)
medium.com
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This edition’s 9 articles span the real meaning of “foreign meddling” and domestic flashpoints, social media platform preparations for Election Night and beyond, and how media has to go beyond factchecking as it tackles “pink slime” (yes, it’s a thing).

Fact-checking needs to make way for reality-testing and gaslighting-fighting | Press Watch
presswatchers.org
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Donald Trump literally laughs factchecking off - it's good to have, but insufficient. To establish non-partisan status, factcheckers need to be equally tough on all sides, but all sides don't lie the same. They use euphemisms for 'lie', and check narrow, easy-to-debunk statements while ignoring the larger pattern of "the a…

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…

America mainstreaming disinformation against itself (US2020 Disinformation newsletter, ed 1)
mathewlowry.myhub.ai

I'm (re)launching my newsletter to focus on disinformation during the 2020 US election. It's also part of a wider experiment in integrating Zettelkasten idea and knowledge management into my personal content strategy, hosted on MyHub.ai.

The 2020 Election Will Be a War of Disinformation - The Atlantic
www.theatlantic.com
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The president’s reelection campaign ... multimillion-dollar ad blitz ... shaping Americans’ understanding of ... impeachment ... micro-targeted ads ... portraying Trump as a heroic reformer ... while Democrats plotted a coup... An alternate information ecosystem was taking shape ... I wanted to see it from the inside...I was surprised by the effec…

Prebunking interventions based on the psychological theory of "inoculation" can reduce susceptibility to misinformation across cultures. | HKS Misinformation Review
misinforeview.hks.harvard.edu
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online “fake news” game, Bad News, can confer psychological resistance against common online misinformation strategies across different cultures... “prebunking,” ... can help cultivate “mental antibodies” against fake news... players “walk a mile” in the shoes of a fake news creator... significant and meaningful reductions in the perceived reliab…

A tech exec says history will frown on Zuckerberg and co.
www.fastcompany.com

I put together my own cheat sheet to keep in my back pocket for heated conversations to come

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…

Covering Climate Change and Countering Skepticism in Australia - Nieman Reports
niemanreports.org
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when climate skeptics in government and media control the message and the channels, it becomes fact for people like councilor Allen that Australia’s fires... have “nothing” to do with climate change... Climate skepticism runs deep in Australia, origin of ... Murdoch’s media empire... long history of climate science denial and diversion... in the w…

What lessons haven’t we learned since 2016? Lesson 1: RAGE - Stand Up Republic
standuprepublic.com
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The rage-engage cycle is a key part of how malign narratives gain traction on social media... into traditional media... disinformation content is designed to be polarizing... exploits the business models of social media... pointing out that something is false and dangerous ... giving more oxygen to the fire... [Trump] tests and revises purposefull…

Types, sources, and claims of COVID-19 misinformation | Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk
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some of the main types, sources, and claims of COVID-19 misinformation seen so far... the number of English-language fact-checks rose more than 900% from January to March... coronavirus misinformation has almost certainly grown even faster...most (59%)... various forms of reconfiguration... true information is spun, twisted, recontextualised, or r…

Big Tech’s Big Defector | The New Yorker
www.newyorker.com
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McNamee has mentored many of the people who have transformed Silicon Valley... advised Mark Zuckerberg to turn down Yahoo’s offer... a billion dollars... encouraged Zuckerberg to hire Sheryl Sandberg...Ten days before the Presidential election... “I am disappointed. I am embarrassed. I am ashamed,”... I was expecting them to take it seriously... t…

Disinformation For Hire: How A New Breed Of PR Firms Is Selling Lies Online
www.buzzfeednews.com
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for manipulating public opinion... automation and artificial intelligence “can quickly generate traffic and publicity much faster than people.”...If disinformation in 2016 was characterized by Macedonian spammers... Russian trolls... 2020 is shaping up to be the year communications pros for hire provide sophisticated online propaganda operations .…

Boris Johnson made politics awful, then asked people to vote it away | openDemocracy
www.opendemocracy.net
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recent UK election was a quarrel about the character of politics...Labour Party argued that it can be used for good... Conservative Party claimed that politics is bad... promised to... ‘get Brexit done’, so that we can all forget about it ...wage war on the political process, on trust, and on truth. Ensure the whole experience is miserable, bewild…

Building a More Honest Internet - Columbia Journalism Review
www.cjr.org
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In the US, radio began as a free-market free-for-all. More than five hundred radio stations sprang up in less than a decade to explore the possibilities... 40 percent were noncommercial... network of interlinked stations playing local and national content supported by local and national advertising, became dominant players...Soviet Union... ideolo…

That Uplifting Tweet You Just Shared? A Russian Troll Sent It - Rolling Stone
www.rollingstone.com
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Professional trolls don’t go on social media to antagonize liberals or belittle conservatives. They are not narrow minded, drunk or angry... We’ve spent the past two years studying online disinformation and building a deep understanding of Russia’s strategy, tactics, and impact...to develop procedures to identify disinformation campaigns... Profes…

The EU elections are next week. Fake news is not the problem | WIRED UK
www.wired.co.uk
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Information operations are rarely about changing the things people believe, but changing the way they feel. Anger and fear are not things we can correct with better facts... accounts run by ... Internet Research Agency, or IRA... shared [news from] some of the biggest, most reputable news organisations in the world... rhythmic, regular sharing o…

28/05/2019
A cognitive scientist explains why humans are so susceptible to fake news and misinformation » Nieman Journalism Lab
www.niemanlab.org
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How fake news gets into our minds, and what you can do to resist it... to understand why it gets into our mind... by examining how memory works and how memories become distorted.... Fake news often relies on misattribution ... we retrieve things from memory but can’t remember their source... one of the reasons advertising is so effective... Repe…

Anti-vaxx propaganda has gone viral on Facebook. Pinterest has a cure | Technology | The Guardian
www.theguardian.com
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In the case of vaccines, the fact that scientists and doctors are not producing a steady stream of new digital content about settled science has left a void for conspiracy theorists and fraudsters to fill ... Data voids may be relatively easy to diagnose, but they are very difficult to fix... cannot be achieved by removing problematic content... W…

Why Fears of Fake News Are Overhyped – Reasonable Doubt – Medium
medium.com
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many of the initial conclusions ...about the scope of fake news consumption, and its effects on our politics, were exaggerated or incorrect. Relatively few people consumed this form of content directly during the 2016 campaign, and even fewer did so before the 2018 election. Fake news consumption is concentrated among a narrow subset of Americans …

This is what filter bubbles actually look like - MIT Technology Review
www.technologyreview.com
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societies have experienced extremism and fragmentation without the assistance of Silicon Valley for centuries... So just how responsible is the internet for today’s divisions? In this Twitter map... of the US political landscape, accounts that follow one another are clustered together, and they are color-coded by the kinds of content they commonly…

Fighting fake news is a losing battle, but there are other ways to win the war.
mondaynote.com
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the next iteration of technology applied to politics will be a huge leap forward with a greater ability to target people... address each of the 156 million of registered voters on the US with personalized messages.... a falsehood delivered in a personalized way is likely to be more efficient but less visible than a blatant lie put on Twitter; it w…

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