CNET: Facebook will ban false voting information during midterm elections, report says. “In an effort to battle voter manipulation on its platform, Facebook will reportedly ban misinformation about voting leading up to and during the US midterm elections in November.” Is anyone taking bets on how much Facebook will actually enforce this policy? I’ve got some money to put on “minimally if at all.”
The National Interest: Why Cyberattacks on America’s Elections and Infrastructure Are Here to Stay. “Nations have been in the business of interfering in other nations’ elections since the beginning of recorded history. Since cyber-meddling in other countries’ electoral processes is also now well established, and there appear to be a variety of means and incentives to engage in cyber-meddling, what, if anything, can be done to discourage it? Imposing sanctions on Russia has not proven to be particularly effective, illustrating the relative powerlessness countries have to keep other countries from engaging in cyber-election meddling. Doing so could be rendered somewhat less effective by seeking to reduce or counter its influence on electoral debates by swiftly exposing and/or ignoring them. That is largely what occurred during the 2017 French election.”
New York Times: Made and Distributed in the U.S.A.: Online Disinformation. “Politics has always involved shadings of the truth via whisper campaigns, direct-mail operations and negative ads bordering on untrue. What is different this time is how domestic sites are emulating the Russian strategy of 2016 by aggressively creating networks of Facebook pages and accounts — many of them fake — that make it appear as if the ideas they are promoting enjoy widespread popularity, researchers said. The activity is also happening on Twitter, they said.”
CNET: Facebook pulls down over 800 pages, accounts ahead of midterm elections. “Facebook said Thursday it pulled down more than 800 pages and accounts that posted sensational political content for violating its rules against spam and ‘inauthentic behavior’ ahead of the US midterm elections.” This is been happening for literally years and I’m not giving Facebook any points for just now getting around to doing something about it.
CNET: Election security is a mess, and the cleanup won’t arrive by the midterms. “For many, the most intense race leading up to Election Day won’t be among politicians. It’ll be the mad, final scramble by county officials and tech companies to make sure your votes are safe from hackers.”
News4 San Antonio: Russian hackers target Beto, Cruz and Manu. “We discovered the tweets in a recently-released database of three million tweets associated with Russian trolling, which targeted Cruz as well as many of the state’s other congressional leaders. Dr. Aaron Delwiche, a Trinity University social communications professor, says the messages are designed to look like they came from real people, but were instead part of a larger campaign from a foreign country injecting its voice in American affairs and politics.”
Outlook India: Election Commission To Get Help From Facebook, Twitter, Google To Check Fake News During Polls. “Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat has said that major internet players like Google and social media giants like Twitte [sic] and Facebook have assured the Election Commission (EC) that they will not allow their platforms to be used for anything which effects the purity of polls during campaign period.”