Medium: Why Fears of Fake News Are Overhyped

Medium: Why Fears of Fake News Are Overhyped. “Many important concerns about online misinformation still remain, including the influence of the fake news audience, the difficulty of countering fake news at scale, the dangers of Facebook’s size, and the threat of YouTube-based radicalization. But none of these questions can be adequately addressed without creating a reality-based debate that puts fake news in context as just one of the many sources of misinformation in our politics.”

Washington Post: Facebook suspends five accounts, including that of a social media researcher, for misleading tactics in Alabama election

Washington Post: Facebook suspends five accounts, including that of a social media researcher, for misleading tactics in Alabama election. “Facebook has suspended the account of Jonathon Morgan, the chief executive of a top social media research firm, after reports that he and others engaged in an operation to spread disinformation during the special election in Alabama last year.”

New York Times: Social Media’s Forever War

New York Times: Social Media’s Forever War. “One takeaway from these reports might be that the Russian influence campaign of 2016 was a freak occurrence enabled by a perfect storm of vulnerabilities: growth-obsessed social media companies, unsuspecting intelligence agencies and an election featuring two hyper-polarizing candidates, one of which had a Russian blind spot and an army of supporters willing to believe convenient lies and half-truths. The other way to look at these reports, and probably a more accurate one, is that the 2016 election was the Pearl Harbor of the social media age: a singular act of aggression that ushered in an era of extended conflict.”

Washington Post: New report on Russian disinformation, prepared for the Senate, shows the operation’s scale and sweep

Washington Post: New report on Russian disinformation, prepared for the Senate, shows the operation’s scale and sweep. “A report prepared for the Senate that provides the most sweeping analysis yet of Russia’s disinformation campaign around the 2016 election found the operation used every major social media platform to deliver words, images and videos tailored to voters’ interests to help elect President Trump — and worked even harder to support him while in office.”

Study: Twitter bots played disproportionate role spreading misinformation during 2016 election (Indiana University Bloomington)

Indiana University Bloomington: Study: Twitter bots played disproportionate role spreading misinformation during 2016 election. “Among the findings: A mere 6 percent of Twitter accounts that the study identified as bots were enough to spread 31 percent of the ‘low-credibility’ information on the network. These accounts were also responsible for 34 percent of all articles shared from ‘low-credibility’ sources.”

EurekAlert: Targeted Facebook ads shown to be highly effective in the 2016 US Presidential election

EurekAlert: Targeted Facebook ads shown to be highly effective in the 2016 US Presidential election . “Donald Trump’s campaign is said to have spent 44 million dollars on Facebook, running 175,000 variations of political adverts during the election campaign, compared to a spend of 28 million dollars by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Was this money well-spent?”

Bloomberg: Twitter Bots Helped Trump and Brexit Win, Economic Study Says

Bloomberg: Twitter Bots Helped Trump and Brexit Win, Economic Study Says. “Twitter bots may have altered the outcome of two of the world’s most consequential elections in recent years, according to an economic study. Automated tweeting played a small but potentially decisive role in the 2016 Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s presidential victory, the National Bureau of Economic Research working paper showed this month. Their rough calculations suggest bots added 1.76 percentage point to the pro-‘leave’ vote share as Britain weighed whether to remain in the European Union, and may explain 3.23 percentage points of the actual vote for Trump in the U.S. presidential race.”