New York Times: YouTube Unleashed a Conspiracy Theory Boom. Can It Be Contained?

New York Times: YouTube Unleashed a Conspiracy Theory Boom. Can It Be Contained?. “Last month, the YouTube star Shane Dawson uploaded his new project: a 104-minute documentary, ‘Conspiracy Theories With Shane Dawson.’ In the video, set to a spooky instrumental soundtrack, Mr. Dawson unspooled a series of far-fetched hypotheses. Among them: that iPhones secretly record their owners’ every utterance; that popular children’s TV shows contain subliminal messages urging children to commit suicide; that the recent string of deadly wildfires in California was set on purpose, either by homeowners looking to collect insurance money or by the military using a type of high-powered laser called a ‘directed energy weapon.'”

Poynter: This website impersonated a fact-checking outlet to publish fake news stories

Poynter: This website impersonated a fact-checking outlet to publish fake news stories. “Someone is publishing fake news stories on a website that looks like a fact-checking organization. On Wednesday, Brazilian fact-checker Aos Fatos published an investigation about a fake news website that had ripped off its brand to publish bogus content. Instead of AosFatos.org, the network published to AosFatos.com.”

New York Times: When Facebook Spread Hate, One Cop Tried Something Unusual

New York Times: When Facebook Spread Hate, One Cop Tried Something Unusual. “In most of the world, rumor-fueled meltdowns are taken as a fact of life, a product of Facebook’s propensity for stirring up people’s worst impulses. But Andreas Guske, a trim, steely-eyed police inspector in the refugee-heavy Bavarian town of Traunstein where the rumor circulated, didn’t think his community could afford complacence. Attacks on refugees were already rising. And southern Germany is a front line in Europe’s battle over identity and immigration.”

CBC: Twitter trolls stoked debates about immigrants and pipelines in Canada, data show

CBC: Twitter trolls stoked debates about immigrants and pipelines in Canada, data show. “Twitter trolls linked to suspected foreign influence campaigns stoked controversy over pipelines and immigration in Canada, according to a CBC/Radio-Canada analysis of 9.6 million tweets from accounts since deleted. Roughly 21,600 tweets from those troll accounts directly targeted Canadians — many of them with messages critical of Canadian pipeline projects and tweets that highlighted divisions over Canada’s policies on immigration and refugees.”

Open Letter: Facebook, Do Your Part Against Disinformation (Mozilla Blog)

Mozilla Blog: Open Letter: Facebook, Do Your Part Against Disinformation. “Mozilla, Access Now, Reporters Without Borders, and 30 other organizations have published an open letter to Facebook. Our ask: make good on your promises to provide more transparency around political advertising ahead of the 2019 EU Parliamentary Elections.”

The New Times: Social media trolls, influencers set for a fight in Nigeria’s elections

The New Times: Social media trolls, influencers set for a fight in Nigeria’s elections. “As Nigeria’s Feb 16 presidential election approaches, tensions are ramping up across the country and like elsewhere around the world social media has become one of the most fraught battlegrounds. Online, candidates and their respective political parties are engaging individuals, usually young men and some women, who have been creating fake accounts daily to direct conversations, promote agenda, expose the shortcomings of opponents, and test the ground for Election Day when unofficial results will be emerging on social media.”