Kenya election: Deep fakes, propaganda, libel inundate social media (The East African)

The East African: Kenya election: Deep fakes, propaganda, libel inundate social media . “The final stretch of the campaigns has witnessed outright propaganda and manipulated videos and audios online spaces, signalling a rebound of fake news. From fabricated videos made to misrepresent a candidate’s opinion to invented phone calls alleging plans to rig elections and fake statements claiming foreign support for a specific candidate, the ‘deep fakes’ have increased these final two weeks as they seemingly target the less informed.”

‘Golden age’: Marcos myths on Philippine social media (AFP)

AFP: ‘Golden age’: Marcos myths on Philippine social media. “Ferdinand Marcos Junior appears on the cusp of victory in next week’s presidential polls, with his seemingly unassailable lead fuelled by a decades-long misinformation campaign to revamp the family brand. The clan’s comeback from pariahs in exile to the peak of political power has been built on a relentless barrage of fake and misleading posts on social media.”

Exclusive: Fake Accounts Fueled the ‘Snyder Cut’ Online Army (Rolling Stone)

Rolling Stone: Exclusive: Fake Accounts Fueled the ‘Snyder Cut’ Online Army. “For a time, rival studios and digital marketing executives were intrigued by the SnyderVerse fan mobilization, wondering how they, too, might better harness the power of social media. But soon many came to question what appeared to be suspect activity: Hashtags like #ReleaseTheSnyderCut saturated social media beginning in late 2019, racking up hundreds of thousands of tweets a day to pressure Warner Bros. to release the director’s version of the film.”

Washington Post: Facebook quietly bankrolled small, grassroots groups to fight its battles in Washington

Washington Post: Facebook quietly bankrolled small, grassroots groups to fight its battles in Washington. “Backed by millions from Facebook-parent company Meta, American Edge has launched a full-throated campaign to combat antitrust legislation in Washington, placing op-eds in regional papers throughout the country, commissioning studies, and collaborating with a surprising array of partners, including minority business associations, conservative think tanks, and former national security officials. It’s a political playbook more common to other industries, including pharmaceuticals, tobacco and telecommunications. But tech companies, under heightened scrutiny from federal regulators, are seizing on these methods. (Meta also paid a GOP consulting firm to malign TikTok, The Post reported in March.)”

New York Times: China’s Covid Lockdown Outrage Tests Limits of Triumphant Propaganda

New York Times: China’s Covid Lockdown Outrage Tests Limits of Triumphant Propaganda. “Anger and anxiety over the Shanghai lockdown, now in its fourth week, has posed a rare challenge for China’s powerful propaganda apparatus, which is central to the Communist Party’s ability to stifle dissent. As the Omicron variant continues to spread across the country, officials have defended their use of widespread, heavy-handed lockdowns. They have pushed a triumphalist narrative of their Covid response, which says that only the Chinese government had the will to confront, and hold back, the virus. But among a populace with growing evidence of the costs of that approach, an alternate story — of rage, frustration and despair — is finding an audience.”

Spectrum Local News: Hard-to-trace social media accounts stir up online debate about Maine energy politics

Spectrum Local News: Hard-to-trace social media accounts stir up online debate about Maine energy politics. “A strange phenomenon can be seen in the replies to almost any social media post about the campaign to replace Maine’s investor-owned electric utilities with a consumer-owned nonprofit. In Twitter threads, Facebook pages and comments on local news articles, a group of at least six self-styled ‘real Mainers’ — their profile pictures showing dogs or lighthouses, with bios such as, ‘Just a girl from Maine!’ or ‘Not from away’ — first appeared online in January and have posted almost exclusively about an early-stage energy policy debate that many might find obscure.”

Reuters: Facebook takes down Brazil environmental disinformation network with ties to military

Reuters: Facebook takes down Brazil environmental disinformation network with ties to military. “Facebook owner Meta Platforms said on Thursday it had removed a network of social media accounts with ties to the Brazilian military that posed as fake nonprofits to play down the dangers of deforestation. Although the individuals involved in the network were active military personnel, Meta’s investigation did not find enough evidence to establish if they were following orders or acting independently, said a person with knowledge of the matter.”

CBS News: China discreetly paid for U.S. social media influencers to tout Beijing Winter Olympics

CBS News: China discreetly paid for U.S. social media influencers to tout Beijing Winter Olympics. “The social media posts fanned across a variety of popular Instagram and TikTok accounts that have a combined following of 5 million people who follow their videos, photos and content about travel destinations, sports, fashion and women’s issues. The Chinese Consulate in New York paid $300,000 to New Jersey-based firm Vippi Media to recruit the influencers. The posts were not properly labeled as ads in the way that TikTok and Instagram requires.”

Media Matters: A pro-Russia propaganda campaign is using over 180 TikTok influencers to promote the invasion of Ukraine

Media Matters: A pro-Russia propaganda campaign is using over 180 TikTok influencers to promote the invasion of Ukraine. “Over 180 Russian influencers on TikTok are involved in a seemingly concerted propaganda campaign using the caption ‘Russian Lives Matter’ and participating in a combination of three trends that promote online support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.”

Axios: China’s state media buys Meta ads pushing Russia’s line on war

Axios: China’s state media buys Meta ads pushing Russia’s line on war. “Ads from Chinese state broadcaster CGTN are running on Meta-owned Facebook, targeting global users with pro-Russian talking points about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Driving the news: Meta said last week it would ban ads from Russian state media and stop recommending content from such outlets. But that hasn’t stopped countries close to Moscow, like China, from using their state channels to buy ads pushing a pro-Russian line.”

NBC News: Facebook, Twitter remove disinformation accounts targeting Ukrainians

NBC News: Facebook, Twitter remove disinformation accounts targeting Ukrainians. “Facebook and Twitter removed two anti-Ukrainian ‘covert influence operations’ over the weekend, one tied to Russia and another with connections to Belarus, the companies said. One of the operations, a propaganda campaign featuring a website pushing anti-Ukraine talking points, was an offshoot of a known Russian disinformation operation.”

Daily Beast: After FBI Raid, Dem. Congressman Feels the Love – From a Network of Trolls

Daily Beast: After FBI Raid, Dem. Congressman Feels the Love – From a Network of Trolls. “[Henry] Cuellar, one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress, had never seen much engagement before the raids, with his tweets normally only drawing a half dozen or so replies. But after the FBI came knocking, Cuellar’s replies teemed with critics calling on him to resign, reminding him of the investigation, and taunting the nine-term congressman with the thought of prison. Within a week, those replies were matched with missives from ostensible supporters swooping in to battle the haters.”