Nieman Lab: Old people are most likely to share fake news on Facebook. They’re also Facebook’s fastest-growing U.S. audience.. “Elderly Americans were most likely to share fake news around the election, even after controlling for political affiliation and ideology. Only a small percentage of people shared fake news in the first place, but those who did were likely to be over 65.”
Ars Technica: Information overload study we covered has been retracted. “In 2017, we covered a study that suggested information overload may be responsible for the viral spread of faulty information. The study was based on a mix of modeling of artificial ‘agents’ that forwarded information to their peers, and real-world data obtained from Twitter. In attempting to follow up on their own work, the researchers who produced it discovered two problems: a software bug in their analysis pipeline, and a graph that was produced using invalid data.”
Neowin: Facebook’s ban hammer hits marketing firm in the Philippines for inauthentic behavior . “Over the past year, Facebook has swung its ban hammer against plenty of organizations across the world for violating its policies. These groups include fake news outlets in Bangladesh, Myanmar’s top military chief, and bogus pages in Brazil. Today, the social media company enforced the same action against a digital marketing company in the Philippines accused of orchestrating inauthentic activities and using fake accounts.”
Mashable: Facebook tackles fake news in the UK with a new fact-checking service. “Facebook is partnering up with Full Fact, a British charitable organization that focuses on fact-checking, to get rid of fake news in the UK, the company announced Friday. This is a continuation of Facebook’s efforts to combat fake news, which the company ramped up after the 2016 election, but it’s the first time the company has launched such an initiative in the UK. “
BetaNews: Knowledge Graph ‘bug’ makes it possible to spoof Google search results. “A security specialist has discovered a bug in Google’s Knowledge Graph — the cards that appear at the top of search results to highlight key pieces of information and provide quick answers to questions– which makes it not only possible, but simple to manipulate search results.”
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.
The Verge: How an upstart hacker collective is fighting back against misinformation in 2019. “With fake stories a seemingly permanent fixture of life online — and the threat of convincing fake videos gaining steam — it can be easy to despair. But even as the viral threat evolves, new antibodies are emerging. Amid fears that the boundaries between reality and fiction are dissolving, researchers have begun sketching out proposals to prevent it from disseminating. Drawing on experts from a variety of fields, advocates are putting together an organized effort to protect the information sphere from scammers and state-sponsored trolls.”