Revealed: rightwing firm posed as leftist group on Facebook to divide Democrats (The Guardian)

The Guardian: Revealed: rightwing firm posed as leftist group on Facebook to divide Democrats. “In an apparent attempt to split the Democratic vote in a number of close races, the ads purported to come from an organization called America Progress Now (APN) and used socialist memes and rhetoric to urge leftwing voters to support Green party candidates. Facebook was aware of the true identity of the advertiser – the conservative marketing firm Rally Forge – and the deceptive nature of the ads, documents seen by the Guardian show, but the company determined that they did not violate its policies.”

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.

Mother Jones: Researchers Say They’ve Uncovered a Massive Facebook Bot Farm from the 2020 Election

Mother Jones: Researchers Say They’ve Uncovered a Massive Facebook Bot Farm from the 2020 Election. “A group of security researchers say they’ve unmasked a massive bot farm that aimed to shape public opinion on Facebook during the heat of the 2020 presidential election. According to Paul Bischoff of Comparitech, a British cybersecurity company, the network includes 13,775 unique Facebook accounts that each posted roughly 15 times per month, for an output of more than 50,000 posts a week.”

Albania: Alarm Over Indications Of Personal Data Breach, Election Campaign Violations (Transparency International)

Transparency International: Albania: Alarm Over Indications Of Personal Data Breach, Election Campaign Violations. “On 11 April, an Albanian media portal published a database containing personal data and private information of 910,000 individuals, allegedly maintained by the country’s ruling Socialist Party. It was revealed – and since then confirmed – that ‘patrons’ were assigned to voters who tracked their political preferences. Additional comments, recorded by the patrons, reportedly detail their interactions with citizens, with some instances amounting to possible voter intimidation.”

#Election2020: the first public Twitter dataset on the 2020 US Presidential election (PubMed)

PubMed: #Election2020: the first public Twitter dataset on the 2020 US Presidential election. “The study of online chatter is paramount, especially in the wake of important voting events like the recent November 3, 2020 U.S. Presidential election and the inauguration on January 21, 2021. Limited access to social media data is often the primary obstacle that limits our abilities to study and understand online political discourse. To mitigate this impediment and empower the Computational Social Science research community, we are publicly releasing a massive-scale, longitudinal dataset of U.S. politics- and election-related tweets. This multilingual dataset encompasses over 1.2 billion tweets and tracks all salient U.S. political trends, actors, and events from 2019 to the time of this writing.”

Atlantic Council: Social media helps and hurts Iranian elections. Here’s how.

Atlantic Council: Social media helps and hurts Iranian elections. Here’s how.. “The internet has always been one of the most challenging issues for the Iranian government, especially during elections. Over the past three years alone, Iran has tried to meet this challenge on numerous occasions by shutting down the internet during nationwide protests or blocking popular apps and websites. According to the 2020 Internet freedom index, Iran ranks at the bottom at fifteenth or, to put it in another way, “not free”. In this piece, I will try to examine the pros and cons of social media during every Iranian election since 2009 and speculate about the potential of a new app ahead of the June vote.”

Al Jazeera: Facebook says will curb hate speech as Indian states go to polls

Al Jazeera: Facebook says will curb hate speech as Indian states go to polls. “Facebook has said it is taking steps to combat hate speech and misinformation in India as the world’s biggest democracy holds months-long multi-phase elections in four states and a federal territory. ‘We recognise that there are certain types of content, such as hate speech, that could lead to imminent, offline harm,’ the social networking giant said in a blog post dated March 30.”

El País: Spain’s social media provocateurs gear up for digital war ahead of Madrid election

El País: Spain’s social media provocateurs gear up for digital war ahead of Madrid election. “If the May 4 election in Madrid is a war between communism and freedom in the eyes of the political right, [Luis “Alvise” Pérez] is the closest thing they have to a kamikaze. Always prepared to overstep the mark, the Seville-born 31-year-old’s nickname is a frequent trending topic, generating both hatred and admiration. As far as his admirers are concerned, his fearless ability to stir things up is ideal for engaging in cyber-combat on social media, where the new hyper-polarized politics play out and people like Alvise thrive.”

TIME: Facebook Acted Too Late to Tackle Misinformation on 2020 Election, Report Finds

TIME: Facebook Acted Too Late to Tackle Misinformation on 2020 Election, Report Finds. “The report, by the online advocacy group Avaaz, found that if Facebook had not waited until October to tweak its algorithms to stem false and toxic content amplified on the platform, the company could have prevented an estimated 10.1 billion views on the 100 most prominent pages that repeatedly shared misinformation on the platform ahead of the election.”

New York Times: What Went Right in the 2020 Election

New York Times: What Went Right in the 2020 Election. “A lot went wrong after the 2020 election in the United States. But here’s one thing that went right during it: A risk everyone worried about — foreign election interference — mostly failed. That showed what is possible when government officials and technology companies are laser focused on a problem, effectively coordinate and learn from their past mistakes. But the false narrative that the election was stolen, culminating in a mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, also pointed to the limits of those efforts. The Russians or the Chinese didn’t delegitimize our election. We did it to ourselves.”

New York Times: Fixing What the Internet Broke

New York Times: Fixing What the Internet Broke. “The Election Integrity Partnership, a coalition of online information researchers, published this week a comprehensive analysis of the false narrative of the presidential contest and recommended ways to avoid a repeat. Internet companies weren’t solely to blame for the fiction of a stolen election, but the report concluded that they were hubs where false narratives were incubated, reinforced and cemented. I’m going to summarize here three of the report’s intriguing suggestions for how companies such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter can change to help create a healthier climate of information about elections and everything else.”

The Guardian: A few rightwing ‘super-spreaders’ fueled bulk of election falsehoods, study says

The Guardian: A few rightwing ‘super-spreaders’ fueled bulk of election falsehoods, study says. “A handful of rightwing ‘super-spreaders’ on social media were responsible for the bulk of election misinformation in the run-up to the Capitol attack, according to a new study that also sheds light on the staggering reach of falsehoods pushed by Donald Trump.”

Politico: Scores of political groups sidestepped Facebook’s ad ban

Politico: Scores of political groups sidestepped Facebook’s ad ban. “Political campaigns are cheering the return of political ads to Facebook this week. But some groups never stopped running them. Scores of right- and left-wing political groups purchased tens of thousands of dollars in political ads that broke the company’s rules between January and March this year, according to an analysis by POLITICO.”

Tubefilter: TikTok Removed Nearly 350,000 Videos For Violating Election Policies

Tubefilter: TikTok Removed Nearly 350,000 Videos For Violating Election Policies. “TikTok removed nearly 350,000 videos for violating its rules against election msinformation, disinformation, and manipulated media in the latter half of 2020, the platform revealed in its third transparency report. A further 441,028 videos were restricted from appearing in users’ For You feeds because they were flagged by fact-checkers, TikTok said.”