Vox Recode: How to guard your social feeds against election misinformation. “Election Day is approaching, and you’ll likely have to use your own judgment to identify misleading or downright false content on social media. So how can you prepare? Plenty of outlets have written guides to spotting misinformation on your feeds — some great resources are available at The Verge, Factcheck.org, and the Toronto Public Library. You can go beyond that by minimizing the chance that you’ll come across misinformation in the first place (though there’s no guarantee).”
MapLight: Download the Election Deception Tracker: A New Tool to Fight Online Misinformation . “With only a few clicks, the Election Deception Tracker allows users to capture content from their Facebook feeds that contains false or misleading content about the election, voting-by-mail, and other voter suppression or intimidation and send it to a team of election protection advocates who will analyze the information and push for its removal.” Looks like this is a browser extension available for Chrome and Firefox.
Washington Post: Pro-Trump youth group enlists teens in secretive campaign likened to a ‘troll farm,’ prompting rebuke by Facebook and Twitter. “The messages have been emanating in recent months from the accounts of young people in Arizona seemingly expressing their own views — standing up for President Trump in a battleground state and echoing talking points from his reelection campaign. Far from representing a genuine social media groundswell, however, the posts are the product of a sprawling yet secretive campaign that experts say evades the guardrails put in place by social media companies to limit online disinformation of the sort used by Russia during the 2016 campaign.”
CNBC: Former DNI Dan Coats recommends social media execs help oversee election legitimacy. “Social media executives should play a key role in ensuring the legitimacy of the 2020 election, former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats suggested in a New York Times op-ed Thursday. In the article, Coats, a former Trump administration official, recommended the U.S. create a new nonpartisan commission that would help reassure the American public that their votes would be counted and would aim to monitor forces attempting to undermine the election.”
Phys .org: Many Americans believe false election narratives, survey shows. “‘Kamala Harris is not a natural-born American citizen.’ False. ‘Joe Biden’s family has illegal business ties with China.’ False. Believe it or not, large segments of the population are aware of these kinds of unsupported narratives related to the fall 2020 election and believe that at least some of these narratives are true, according to the first in a new series of reports by Indiana University’s Observatory on Social Media, also known as OSoMe.”
TechCrunch: Twitter tightens account security for political candidates ahead of US election. “Twitter is taking steps to tighten account security for a range of users ahead of the US presidential election, including by requiring the use of strong passwords.”
Politico: Russia is back, wilier than ever — and it’s not alone. “Kremlin-backed operatives are flooding social media with fake accounts and stoking racial divisions around topics like Black Lives Matter. Articles in state-owned Russian media with millions of U.S. readers online seek to dampen Joe Biden’s appeal among progressives and echo President Donald Trump’s unsupported claims about voting fraud. At the same time, Russian state-backed hackers are waging cyberattacks against political parties, campaigns, consultants and others tied to the U.S. elections — using more elaborate deceptions than in 2016, Microsoft said last week.”
BuzzFeed News: “I Have Blood on My Hands”: A Whistleblower Says Facebook Ignored Global Political Manipulation. “Facebook ignored or was slow to act on evidence that fake accounts on its platform have been undermining elections and political affairs around the world, according to an explosive memo sent by a recently fired Facebook employee and obtained by BuzzFeed News. The 6,600-word memo, written by former Facebook data scientist Sophie Zhang, is filled with concrete examples of heads of government and political parties in Azerbaijan and Honduras using fake accounts or misrepresenting themselves to sway public opinion. In countries including India, Ukraine, Spain, Brazil, Bolivia, and Ecuador, she found evidence of coordinated campaigns of varying sizes to boost or hinder political candidates or outcomes, though she did not always conclude who was behind them.”
USA Today: We’re launching an election-season ad campaign to fight fake news, and we need your help . “…our organizations, the News Literacy Project and The Open Mind Legacy Project, are distributing public service announcements around the country this week to combat malicious fabrication, bots and online trolls that seek to mislead voters and suppress voting. These engaging and animated PSAs will seek to inoculate voters against viral deception about how and when they can vote and encourage them to be skeptical about the election information they encounter.”
Politico: Russia, China and Iran trying to hack presidential race, Microsoft says. “Russian, Chinese and Iranian hackers have mounted cyberattacks against hundreds of organizations and people involved in the 2020 presidential race and U.S.-European policy debates, with targets including the campaigns of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Microsoft said Thursday. The report is the most expansive public warning to date about the rapid spread of foreign governments’ efforts to wield hackers to undermine U.S. democracy.”
AP: Biden audio first shared by ‘Russian agent’ thrives online. “The audio’s proliferation on social media shows how foreign operations aimed at influencing the U.S. election are still easily reaching Americans, despite efforts by Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to rein in such meddling. Since there’s no evidence the heavily edited recordings have been stolen or were entirely fabricated, they’ve been able to flourish online, skirting new policies social media companies rolled out to prevent foreign interference in this year’s elections.”
NPR: Twitter’s New Rules Aim To Prevent Confusion Around The 2020 Vote. “Twitter is putting new restrictions on election-related content, including labeling or removing posts that claim victory before results are official or attempt to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.”
Washington Post: Trump and allies ratchet up disinformation efforts in late stage of campaign. “On Aug. 30, the president retweeted footage of a Black man violently pushing a White woman on a subway platform under the caption, ‘Black Lives Matter/Antifa’ — but the man was not affiliated with either group, and the video was shot in October. White House social media director Dan Scavino shared a manipulated video that falsely showed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden seeming to fall asleep during a television interview, complete with a fake TV headline. And Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the second-ranking House Republican, released a video splicing together quotes from activist Ady Barkan — who has Lou Gehrig’s disease and uses computer voice assistance — to falsely make it sound as if he had persuaded Biden to defund police departments.”
Lawfare: Thirty-Six Hours of Cheapfakes . “In the last days of August, with the clock ticking down until Election Day, senior Republican officials pulled off a disinformation hat trick: Over the course of two short days, figures affiliated with the GOP published three different deceptively edited videos on social media.” Not familiar with the term “cheapfakes”? Here’s some background.
BuzzFeed News: Facebook Says Trump’s Misleading Post About Mail-In Voting Is OK. Employees Say It’s Not.. “Facebook employees are outraged over the company’s ‘shameful’ and ‘unconscionable’ decision not to remove a post from President Donald Trump spreading voting misinformation that could lead to people voting twice.”