Tech Xplore: Filtering out social bots can help critical response teams see what’s happening in real time

Tech Xplore: Filtering out social bots can help critical response teams see what’s happening in real time. “Researchers have created an algorithm that distinguishes between misinformation and genuine conversations on Twitter, by detecting messages churned out by social bots. Dr. Mehwish Nasim and colleagues at the School of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Adelaide say the algorithm will make it easier for emergency services to detect major events such as civil unrest, natural disasters, and influenza epidemics in real time.”

Fast Company: There’s now a chatbot to give refugees instant legal advice

Fast Company: There’s now a chatbot to give refugees instant legal advice. “For a Syrian refugee in Lebanon who is trying to navigate the legal path to resettlement, it can be difficult to find answers—and overstretched humanitarian organizations can take as long as three months to respond to an email when the demand for help is highest. A new chatbot called Mona, designed for Facebook Messenger and Telegram, can help more quickly.”

New York Times: Fake ‘Likes’ Remain Just a Few Dollars Away, Researchers Say

New York Times: Fake ‘Likes’ Remain Just a Few Dollars Away, Researchers Say. “Companies like Facebook and Twitter are poorly policing automated bots and other methods for manipulating social media platforms, according to a report released on Friday by researchers from the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence. With a small amount of money, the researchers found, virtually anyone can hire a company to get more likes, comments and clicks.”

AFP: China bans ‘fake news’ created with AI, bots

AFP: China bans ‘fake news’ created with AI, bots. “The regulation published Friday by China’s cyberspace authority said that both providers and users of online video news and audio services are ‘not allowed’ to use new technologies such as deep learning and virtual reality to create, distribute and broadcast ‘fake news.'”

How to spot a bot (or not): The main indicators of online automation, co-ordination and inauthentic activity (First Draft)

First Draft: How to spot a bot (or not): The main indicators of online automation, co-ordination and inauthentic activity. “From talking with academics and researchers, studying the work of others, and carrying out our own investigations, First Draft has put together a list of indicators to help anyone identify suspicious online activity. The list of indicators is broken down by category: the account’s pattern of activity, account information, content posted by the account, and network of other accounts it may be a part of. Within each category are different metrics which are red flags for automation.” Good list, though I’ll note the RB Twitter account is guilty of two of them (posting persistently day and night and posting in multiple languages.)

The Conversation: You can join the effort to expose Twitter bots

The Conversation: You can join the effort to expose Twitter bots. “In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections, more than 10,000 automated Twitter accounts got caught conducting a coordinated campaign of tweets to discourage people from voting. These automated accounts may seem authentic to some, but a tool called Botometer was able to identify them while they pretentiously argued and agreed, for example, that ‘democratic men who vote drown out the voice of women.’ We are part of the team that developed this tool that detects the bot accounts on social media. Our next effort, called BotSlayer, is aimed at helping journalists and the general public spot these automated social media campaigns while they are happening.”

VentureBeat: Twitter election stunt shows how political groups are brazenly weaponizing social media

VentureBeat: Twitter election stunt shows how political groups are brazenly weaponizing social media. “Social media’s impact on politics has come under increased scrutiny, but a preelection live TV debate between U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition party leader Jeremy Corbyn revealed the extent to which political entities are openly weaponizing social networks to mislead the public.”