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The Case for Digital Public Infrastructure | Knight First Amendment Institute
knightcolumbia.org
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Today's social platforms' business models are not inevitable, but because we see them as such we constrain "the solution space we consider for combatting mis-/disinformation, polarization, and promotion of extremism... we need to consider what technologies [and] digital media to have a productive role in democratic societies".H…

To Mend a Broken Internet, Create Online Parks | WIRED
www.wired.com
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"Our digital public sphere has been failing ... [but] History offers a proven template for how to build healthier public spaces."Filter Bubble author Pariser hearkens back to Walt Whitman's creation of NY's Green Park, when "New York City had no public parks ...only walled commercial pleasure gardens for those who could af…

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.

Twitter Will Turn Off Some Features to Fight Election Misinformation - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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Most of the changes will start on Oct. 20, incl.:extra friction on retweeting, encouraging quote RTs adding the users' own thoughtspre-sharing warnings about flagged contentlabelling early election result claims disabling the algorithmic timelineAlso increasing factchecking and additional context on trending tweets.

Moral outrage in the digital age (pdf)
static1.squarespace.com

After pointing out the evolutionary reasons for moral outrage's existence - to shame & punish wrongdoers - this 2017 Nature paper describes a psychological framework (triggering stimuli -> Responses -> Outcomes) for understanding how online social networks "change the expression of moral outrage and its social consequences?&quo;…

Recommendations for Media Covering the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election | Election Coverage and Democracy Network
mediafordemocracy.org
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The fact that this is actually necessary is saddening: "practical, nonpartisan, evidence-based recommendations to journalists covering the 2020 U.S. presidential election", including how to cover an election amid attempts to undermine it; what to do in the case of a contested result or Trump doesn't concede; and "what to do if …

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…

Trump Jump-Starts Misinformation on Ginsburg’s ‘Dying Wish’ - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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A case study of top down domestic disinformation: "Questions about the legitimacy of Justice Ginsburg’s “dying wish” were not circulating online [until] his Fox News appearance, [then] social media has filled with false claims echoing it... and taking it even further

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).

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 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

Silicon Valley is losing the battle against election misinformation - POLITICO
www.politico.com
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Social media companies are struggling with an onslaught of deceptive and divisive messaging from political parties, foreign governments and hate groups... echo the Russian ... efforts ... U.S. 2016 presidential election... far more insidious and sophisticated ... And ... amplified by mainstream news outlets and major U.S. political figures ...Nat…

How Facebook and Other Sites Manipulate Your Privacy Choices | WIRED
www.wired.com
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Privacy Zuckering... when “you are tricked into publicly sharing more information about yourself than you really intended to... Facebook... paid a $5 billion fine for making “deceptive claims about consumers’ ability to control the privacy of their personal data.” ... “dark patterns,” ... particularly insidious “when you’re deciding what privac…

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…

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…

Designing social platforms fit for the future
medium.com
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For the 6th episode of his Futurized podcast, Trond Undheim asked me why surveillance capitalism inevitably leads to polarised, undemocratic and dysfunctional societies, and what we must do about it... If we don’t change course, in the future we will be less will informed, more polarised, massively manipulated, living in more corrupt and less demo…

Facebook removes 3 white supremacist band pages — leaves 117 others
thenextweb.com
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a new Al Jazeera investigation that identified 120 Facebook pages — with a total of over 800,000 likes ... Facebook frequently talks up its algorithm and moderators for catching a lot of hateful content — but ... some of these pages have been online for a decade.

When It Comes to Managing Online Content, Americans Want It All. Can They Get It? – Knight Foundation
knightfoundation.org
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8 in 10 Americans do not trust social media companies to make the right call on what content to leave up or take down. Yet a majority still favor letting companies make the call rather than letting government decide... Section 230 ... protects digital platforms from legal liability for third party content... [except] illegal content... child porno…

08/07/2020
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…

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 …

Social media accelerates business growth and relevance | ZDNet
www.zdnet.com
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More than 1,000 social marketers were surveyed by Sprout Social for better understanding of goals, metrics and use of social media data in business... Sixty-nine percent ... increasing brand awareness is their number one priority ... top three uses... 1. Understanding their target audience, 2. develop creative content, and 3. Assess campaign pe…

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…

Navigating the ‘infodemic’: how people in six countries access and rate news and information about coronavirus
reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk
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people with low levels of formal education are much less likely to ... rely on news organisations ... more likely to rely on social media and messaging ... Argentina, South Korea, Spain, and the US, young people are much more likely to rely on social media... Germany, the UK, and the US, to rely on messaging applications groups...very high numbers…

Rappler's Maria Ressa Recommends How to Tame the Corrosive Effects of Social Media - Nieman Reports
niemanreports.org
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we needed to take investigative journalism and combine it with technology to build communities of action... I went from managing 1,000 journalists to 12 people...Our information ecosystem has already been destroyed. We’ve been poisoned... We were the third [news outlet] attacked... we stood up because we have no other business interests...In the o…

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…

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