Rappler: Anti-vaxxers make up to $1.1 billion for social media companies

Rappler: Anti-vaxxers make up to $1.1 billion for social media companies. “The global anti-vaccination industry, including influencers and followers, generates up to $1.1 billion in annual revenue for social media giants, according to a damning new report published this week. Anti-vaccine content creates a vast amount of engagement for leading technology platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, with an estimated total social media audience of 62 million people. The arrangement works both ways, with the anti-vax industry earning up to $36million a year.”

NBC News: Russia, Iran were top two sources of disinfo on Facebook targeting U.S. during Trump admin, says report

NBC News: Russia, Iran were top two sources of disinfo on Facebook targeting U.S. during Trump admin, says report. “Russia and Iran were the leading purveyors of disinformation on Facebook over the past four years, and the American public was the top target, according to a new report by Facebook summing up the social media network’s efforts to purge itself of propaganda.”

ITWeb: Google vows to combat data manipulation during SA elections

ITWeb: Google vows to combat data manipulation during SA elections. “Google has vowed to Parliament that it will protect the integrity of SA’s upcoming elections, saying it will not allow any manipulative agenda on its platforms. Google along with tech firms Twitter and Facebook were invited by the South African Parliament’s Committee of Communications and Digital Technologies yesterday to respond to questions about misinformation on their platforms.

Mashable: QAnon believers go undercover to spread conspiracies online…and it’s working

Mashable: QAnon believers go undercover to spread conspiracies online…and it’s working. “The reason you may not be seeing so much QAnon online isn’t because they’re not there. It’s because they’ve gone undercover. QAnon content is still spreading on mainstream social media platforms thanks to a number of tactics its believers are using to get around the bans.”

Discover Magazine: How To Spot Pseudoscience Online And IRL

Discover Magazine: How To Spot Pseudoscience Online And IRL. “Imagine a universe rife with cosmic catastrophes: Jupiter ejecting a comet into space that would later become the planet Venus. The comet whizzing past Earth and changing its rotation. The resulting chaos on Earth causing natural disasters of biblical proportions — literally — like the parting of the Red Sea. In the mid-1900s, Immanuel Velikovsky, a psychiatrist and author, claimed that he could prove these radical ideas. Velikovsky laid out his case in Worlds in Collision, a 1950 bestseller. But the book wasn’t billed as creative fiction or a fanciful hypothesis based on anecdotal accounts of the past; rather, Velikovsky presented these interplanetary theories, and others, as factual.” A lot of articles with this kind of headline are ten paragraphs of bromide. This is a deep dive with a lot of history. Recommended.

Washington Post: Chinese businessman with links to Steve Bannon is driving force for a sprawling disinformation network, researchers say

Washington Post: Chinese businessman with links to Steve Bannon is driving force for a sprawling disinformation network, researchers say. “A sprawling online network tied to Chinese businessman Guo Wengui has become a potent platform for disinformation in the United States, attacking the safety of coronavirus vaccines, promoting false election-fraud claims and spreading baseless QAnon conspiracies, according to research published Monday by the network analysis company Graphika.”

CNET: QAnon channels are deleting their own YouTube videos to evade punishment

CNET: QAnon channels are deleting their own YouTube videos to evade punishment. “Disappearing videos are usually the realm of Snapchat or Instagram Stories, which self-destruct by design after 24 hours. The vanishing QAnon video is something different, a tactic used by peddlers of disinformation that’s designed to help extremist channels evade YouTube’s policies and escape violations that would get them shut down.”

International Journalists’ Network: Decoding how news consumers interpret information

International Journalists’ Network: Decoding how news consumers interpret information. “In recent years it became clear to the newsroom that mis- and disinformation, disruption and confusion among audiences was increasing, especially on social media. To address the growing concern, Global Voices launched a method in 2019 called the Civic Media Observatory to investigate and decode how individuals in diverse, ‘seemingly chaotic media ecosystems’ interpret content, and in turn construct their reality.”

Mashable: Facebook says it removed the internet’s 12 most prominent anti-vaxxers. 10 are still on the social network.

Mashable: Facebook says it removed the internet’s 12 most prominent anti-vaxxers. 10 are still on the social network.. “In response to the hearing, the CCDH and Anti-Vax Watch have just put out what they are calling the ‘sequel’ to the initial Disinformation Dozen report. It provides multiple examples of how these prominent anti-vaxxers, such as Joseph Mercola, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Rizza Islam, have violated Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter’s own policies on COVID-19 and vaccination misinformation. The new report focuses on 105 pieces of content from the Disinformation Dozen posted over the past 30 days that clearly violate the social media companies’ terms of service, according to the two organizations. They say the content included in the report has been viewed up to 29 million times since March 25.”

Joe Rogan and COVID disinformation: What he said and why he’s wrong (CNET)

CNET: Joe Rogan and COVID disinformation: What he said and why he’s wrong. “Rogan has questioned the use of masks, promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID remedy on his show. He’s also regularly brought on guests to discuss the use of Vitamin D in helping ease COVID-19 symptoms. Joe Rogan has also come under fire in the past for lending his massive platform to controversial voices like Alex Jones.”