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Evan Henshaw-Plath, Planetary.Social | The Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure
publicinfrastructure.org
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One of a great series of Reimagining the Internet podcasts. Guest: the Planetary.Social founder, discussing:the early days of Twitter: "Twitter's innovation ... happened all at the edges... users created everything... inline images and short links and retweets and the app, actual at and hashtags... the company... cultivated this garden w…

Masnick's Impossibility Theorem: Content Moderation At Scale Is Impossible To Do Well | Techdirt
www.techdirt.com
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Content moderation "will always end up frustrating very large segments of the population and will always fail to accurately represent the "proper" level of moderation of anyone".any moderation will upset the moderated no moderation will upset those who don't like spam, harassment, etcpushing moderation to the users puts th…

Decentralized Social Networks vs. The Trolls - ConfTube
conf.tube
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After pointing out that mainstream - ie centralised - social platforms cannot moderate effectively due to scale, then introduces fediverse/activitypub-based platforms. Will they face same moderation problems as the mainstream if/when they grow?Takes Gab's unsuccessful move into fediverse as an example: "Almost immediately, Gab was met by…

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…

Adversarial Interoperability | Electronic Frontier Foundation
www.eff.org
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"adversarial interoperability... create a new product or service that plugs into the existing ones without the permission of the companies that make them... once the driver of tech’s dynamic marketplace" now stifled by legal means by Big Tech, which "climbed the adversarial ladder and then pulled it up behind them".EFF sees re…

Peer-to-Peer Network Models and their Implications
backdrifting.net

"corporate-run social media implies a structure [and]... content limits the users have no say in, which favor harmful [content] ... while inhibiting freedom of expression. ... the next platform has the same problems ... “I’ll just build my own platform” leads to ... “alt-tech” platforms ... to host right-wing extremist content... So what does…

Parler Makes Play for Conservatives Mad at Facebook, Twitter - WSJ
www.wsj.com
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Didn't know: "Prominent conservative donor Rebekah Mercer is among the company’s financial backers"Interesting point: one of the main reasons many are on FB/Twitter is to troll other people - will it be harder to get people to come back to an app where everyone agrees with them?

Schumpeter - Who owns the web’s data? | Business | The Economist
www.economist.com
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Overview of efforts to put data back into the hands of people. "platforms’ business models depend on network effects and scale to keep users engaged and to sell more advertising... a culture of virality that... poisons public discourse." Moreover, their data dominance is stifling competition & innovation. " So trustbusters are o…

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.

Meet the researchers and activists fighting misinformation - Protocol
www.protocol.com
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the Election Integrity Partnership and Disinfo Defense League ... two initiatives among hundreds ... reflect two mutually reinforcing sides of the same ecosystem... people devoting their livelihoods to combatting online misinformation and disinformation... These are their stories...EIP is uniquely close to the platforms, using Jira to communicate …

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 …

Thread Helper
threadhelper.com
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"A serendipity engine on the Twitter sidebar".A "second brain" provides easy access to all the resources you've ever Liked or ideas you've ever Thought. @ExGenesis' Threadhelper brings a subset of this (just Tweets) right into the twitter UX - it looks brilliant.Check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?…

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)
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…

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