Science 2.0: A Baltic Lesson For The US In How To Counter Russian Disinformation Tactics. “There are already indications that Cyber Command conducted operations against Russian disinformation on social media, including warning specific Russians not to interfere with the 2018 elections. However, low-level cyberwarfare is not necessarily the best way. European countries, especially the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, have confronted Russian disinformation campaigns for decades. Their experience may offer useful lessons as the U.S. joins the battle.” I really like the idea of a “data embassy” that Estonia pioneered in 2017.
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.”
CNET: FCC chairman acknowledges Russians interfered in net neutrality debate. “Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said earlier this week that roughly 500,000 comments submitted during the debate over the controversial repeal of Obama-era net neutrality rules were linked to Russian email addresses.”
The Hill: Facebook says it asked Definers to do work on Soros. “Facebook admitted Wednesday it hired consulting firm Definers to investigate Democratic donor and hedge fund billionaire George Soros’ criticisms of the tech behemoth.”
TechCrunch: Read the mud-slinging pitches Facebook’s PR firm sent us . “Facebook’s latest PR crisis has cast a lurid spotlight on a GOP-led publicity firm called Definers Public Affairs, after a New York Times investigation revealed last week the firm had sought to discredit Facebook critics by, in one instance, linking them to the liberal financier George Soros — a long-time target of anti-semitic conspiracy theories. The sight of any company paying a firm to leverage anti-semitic and antisocial sentiment on its behalf is, to put it very politely, not a good look.”
BBC: Instagram targets fake likes and comments. “Photo-sharing platform Instagram has announced a new initiative that will target fake likes and comments. The company say they have developed tools that can identify accounts that use third-party services and apps to artificially boost their popularity. Any accounts violating will be warned and told to change their password.”
New York Times: A Look Inside the Tactics of Definers, Facebook’s Attack Dog. “A small firm called Definers Public Affairs brought the dark arts of Washington’s back-room politics to Silicon Valley when, while working for Facebook, it began disparaging other tech companies to reporters. But a few days before Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, testified to Congress in September, Definers set its sights on a different target: the senators about to question Ms. Sandberg.”