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How The Epoch Times Created a Giant Influence Machine - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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"Falun Gong-backed newspaper used aggressive Facebook tactics and misinformation to create an anti-China, pro-Trump media empire" - from a "low-budget newspaper ... handed out free on New York street corners" to "one of the country’s most powerful digital publishers... a leading purveyor of right-wing misinformation"…

Facebook Seeks Shutdown of NYU Research Project Into Political Ad Targeting - WSJ
www.wsj.com

Facebook threatens with legal action NY academics seeking to study Facebook's political ad targeting because their Ad Observer is a "scraping tool". The project collects data unavailable on Facebook's political ad archive: targeting data, geography, political contest, etc.., which they say now violates their rules established i…

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.

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…

Facebook and Twitter struggle to crack down on QAnon - Vox
www.vox.com
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“It’s so easy to feel you’re special or in on something.” - James Wolfe, 45, who was "introduced [to Qanon] by a friend to the idea in late 2017... [when he] was recently unemployed and recovering from a serious physical injury", and quickly "started spending as much as eight hours a day" before recovering "from QAnon aft…

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…

Trump and the Limits of Content Moderation | WIRED
www.wired.com
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Criticisms of social media platforms for allowing disinfo and hate speech to flourish are accurate, but sometimes also wishful thinking: "if only Mark Zuckerberg got his act together, American politics would get back to normal"A disinfo video gone viral may get half a million views - the first Trump-Biden "debate was probably seen b…

Facebook pledged to remove misinformation about voting posted by Trump. It's not following through.  - Popular Information
popular.info
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The new label makes clear that Facebook understands Trump is posting misinformation about whether votes are counted. But it is not fulfilling its stated policy to remove the post. 

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”.

Why the right-wing has a massive advantage on Facebook - POLITICO
www.politico.com
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"the right is better at connecting with people on a visceral level", according to Facebook, portraying themselves as a neutral mirror. Rightwing content resonates by "speaking to "an incredibly strong, primitive emotion" by touching on "nation, protection, the other, anger, fear.""This may be true, but it&#x…

‘“Holy s---” is what we’re thinking’: Inside Facebook's reckoning with 2020 - POLITICO
www.politico.com
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A tour of the year from Zuckerberg's original position - that private companies should not be censoring politicians or the news in a democracy - to the most recent U-turn, after a year of exploring options: from continuing to do nothing through to Twitter's position - banning all political ads."field testing revealed that none of th…

While Facebook works to create an oversight board, industry experts formed their own
www.nbcnews.com
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a group to analyze and critique Facebook's content moderation decisions, policies and other platform issues in the run-up to the presidential election... Facebook's own won't be ready for the election...The name - "Real Facebook Oversight Board" - is misleading: it won't hear users' claims or appeals; more of an …

Facebook will reject ads that falsely claim election victory
www.fastcompany.com

Facebook reacted quickly, but it was reaction, not proaction, and therein lies the problem.When I saw and Queued this article, they'd confirmed to FastCompany that "political campaigns would be able to place new ads on Facebook starting November 4" which meant Trump could advertise an election victory before it was confirmed. By the…

Sensitive to claims of bias, Facebook relaxed misinformation rules for conservative pages
news.yahoo.com

More insights into the way Facebook removed 'strikes' from its internal system against conservative pages labelled as propagating disinformation. "Facebook employees in the misinformation escalations team... deleted strikes ... issued to some conservative partners for posting misinformation ... discussions ... showed [they] were wo…

US election campaign technology from 2008 to 2018, and beyond | MIT Technology Review
www.technologyreview.com
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Tours election technology from 2008 to 2018 "and beyond".2008: Obama integrated e-mail, cell phones and websites to both convey the candidate’s message and enable his supporters to connect and self-organize - supporting grassroots community. MyBarackObama allowed users to form groups, raise money, organise events, get info on local vote…

Whistleblower Says Facebook Ignored Global Political Manipulation
www.buzzfeednews.com
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"a fired Facebook data scientist details how the social network knew leaders of countries around the world were using their site to manipulate voters — and failed to act... I have blood on my hands"A huge memo detailing the story of a junior, unsupported employee making hugely important decisions under management which simply doesn'…

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).

Facebook Braces Itself for Trump to Cast Doubt on Election Results
www.nytimes.com
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The world’s biggest social network is working out what steps to take should President Trump use its platform to dispute the vote.

Facebook Employees Frustrated With Zuckerberg After Kenosha
www.buzzfeednews.com
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"the platform promoted violent conspiracy theories and gave safe harbor to militia groups" like the “Kenosha Guard”, which issued a “call to arms” on Facebook which, despite two people reporting it, remained online. It was only removed by the group themselves after 2 people were killed by a 17 yr old.The level of employee pushback at Fac…

Facebook’s belated, vague, unhelpful election idea - Columbia Journalism Review
www.cjr.org
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Facebook's steps to verify election-related content and prevent disinformation or attempts at meddling have largely underwhelmed. Political ads may be banned for the week before the election, but not those created beforehand. In any case, that's after months of damage. And it doesn't stop people posting disinformation which are not …

Twitter bots are impersonating Black Americans to sow disinformation
www.msnbc.com
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fake Twitter accounts removed: impersonated black men who left the Dems because of BLM to support Trump ... some had tweets with over 10,000 RTs...bots risk drowning out an authentic black political dialogue... shutting them down risks collateral damage (ie shutting down actual people, not fake accounts)...Great metaphor: "we would have a lot…

Facebook has been terrible about removing vaccine misinformation. Will it do better with election misinformation? » Nieman Journalism Lab
www.niemanlab.org
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Less than 5% of the 912 posts flagged for misinformation were dealt with by Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. Many concerned covid19 and over 10% mentioned Gates.Their election-related disinformation policies are unclear, particularly concerning content to de-legitimise the election, "which is likely to make enforcement difficult and…

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…

How social media platforms could flatten the curve of dangerous misinformation.
slate.com
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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... …

Facebook tells Elizabeth Warren it has two different standards for climate fact-checking - The Verge
www.theverge.com
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Facebook ... fact-checking partners “do review and rate climate misinformation... But opinion articles about climate change don’t receive fact-checking ... Climate change misinformation isn’t a priority

Facebook removes troll farm posing as African-American support for Donald Trump
www.nbcnews.com
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foreign pro-Trump troll farm was based in Romania... Facebook... didn’t see “clear evidence of financial motivation” or “clear links to known commercial actors...separate troll operation, tied to pro-Trump media organization Epoch Media Group, featured 303 Facebook accounts, 181 pages, 44 Facebook groups and 31 Instagram accounts... followed by mo…

Facebook Fired An Employee Who Collected Evidence Of Right-Wing Pages Getting Preferential Treatment
www.buzzfeednews.com
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Facebook employees collected evidence company giving right-wing pages preferential treatment when it comes to misinformation... worried how the company will handle the president’s falsehoods in an election year... Facebook is going to be used to aggressively undermine the legitimacy of the US elections... senior engineer collected internal evidenc…

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