Junkee: The Australian Electoral Commission Has Gone Rogue On Social Media, And It’s Working

Junkee: The Australian Electoral Commission Has Gone Rogue On Social Media, And It’s Working. “We’re just over a week out from the federal election, which means you’d be hard pressed to scroll through social media without some form of political advertisement or misinformation crossing your radar. But if you’re lucky, any misinformation has likely already been fact-checked by the Australian Electoral Commission. An unexpected and unsung hero of the 2022 election cycle has been the AEC’s social media team, who have — quite frankly — chosen to go full sicko mode this year and aren’t afraid to call you out if you’re spreading electoral misinformation online.”

The Robesonian: Social media causes controversial start to one-stop voting

The Robesonian: Social media causes controversial start to one-stop voting. “An investigation is underway after a Facebook page presenting itself as the Robeson County Board of Elections posted a cover photo with the words ‘re-elect John Cantey.’ The post comes at the start of one-stop early voting which began Thursday and will run through May 14. John Cantey is running for re-election to his Lumberton City Council seat, in which he represents Precinct 5 residents.”

Midterm Elections: Data-Mapping Tool for Voting Locations Now Available in 14 States (University of Southern California)

University of Southern California: Midterm Elections: Data-Mapping Tool for Voting Locations Now Available in 14 States. “The Voting Location Siting Tool uses a web-based interactive data mapping system to identify areas within a half mile in diameter where vote centers and polling places would likely have the most success in serving voters…. Launched in California in 2018, the tool is now available in 14 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. Over the coming months, CID will be conducting trainings for election officials and community advocacy groups on how to use the tool to identify accessible and equitably distributed polling locations in their communities. ”

Sydney Morning Herald: Clearer disclosure of political advertising needed on social media

Sydney Morning Herald: Clearer disclosure of political advertising needed on social media. “While all political ads on television, radio and in print are required to clearly disclose who has paid for them, it is much harder for the Australian Electoral Commission to monitor the fine line between political content and advertising on social media. The sheer volume of political content on social media is astonishing: the Australian politics hashtag, #auspol, on TikTok has generated 447 million views alone. And Twitter is a constant stream of political wise-cracks, putdowns and promos.”

Cornell Chronicle: Russian trolls tried to distract voters with music tweets in 2016

Cornell Chronicle: Russian trolls tried to distract voters with music tweets in 2016. “In a finding that has implications for the 2022 midterm elections, Cornell researchers found Russia tried to distract liberal voters during the 2016 presidential campaign with a seemingly innocent weapon – tweets about music and videos – taking a page from its domestic disinformation playbook. The strategy resembles techniques used by autocratic governments that control their national media, such as Russia and China, which ‘flood’ social media with entertainment content to distract their citizens from domestic events like protests that they don’t want covered.”

University of Queensland: UQ sheds light on campaign spending trends

University of Queensland: UQ sheds light on campaign spending trends. “The social media spending trends of candidates seeking to secure votes in the upcoming Federal election will be highlighted by a data dashboard created by University of Queensland academics. Experts in political and computer sciences have joined forces to build the UQ Election Ad Data Project to map and analyse data on Facebook election advertising during the 2022 campaign.”

Algorithms, bots and elections in Africa: how social media influences political choices (The Conversation)

The Conversation: Algorithms, bots and elections in Africa: how social media influences political choices . “As mobile phones become commonplace, even in Africa’s poorest countries, the uptake of social media has become ubiquitous. Applications like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp and blogs form an integral part of today’s political communication landscape in much of the continent. These platforms are becoming a dominant factor in electoral processes, playing a tremendous role in the creation, dissemination and consumption of political content.”

CNN: Hackers tried to breach email accounts of election officials in 9 states, FBI says

CNN: Hackers tried to breach email accounts of election officials in 9 states, FBI says. “Unidentified hackers tried to breach the email accounts of election officials in nine states last October in an apparent ‘coordinated effort’ to target election officials, the FBI said Tuesday while asking election officials to be on guard for hacking attempts as the midterms approach.”

Elections Guide for Investigative Reporters: Introduction (Global Investigative Journalism Network)

With a big thanks to Tish W., who is on it like doggone it. From Global Investigative Journalism Network: Elections Guide for Investigative Reporters: Introduction. “While election rules and conditions are unique in every country, this GIJN guide is designed to offer a broad array of tools, techniques, and resources – beyond the primary local sources you find – to help watchdog reporters dig into almost any election. For instance, there are surprisingly simple online techniques for identifying and connecting people behind fear-mongering campaign sites, and open-source tools now exist that can capture all social media posts from violent election events, search political ads on Facebook; track police audio chatter; dig into extremist and anti-democratic social media channels; track illicit campaign financing; and automatically filter mountains of data.”

Google Blog: How we’re supporting the 2022 U.S. midterm elections

Google Blog: How we’re supporting the 2022 U.S. midterm elections. “This work builds on our longstanding support of elections across the globe, including most recently in Japan, Germany, Canada, and South Korea. And we are continuing these efforts in Australia, Brazil, France, the Philippines, and elsewhere to help people navigate the democratic process. Today, we are providing an update on our work to support the 2022 U.S. midterm elections.” Though it’s worth noting that the work on the Australia elections hasn’t been perfect.

The Conversation: TikTok is propagandists’ new tool to win elections in Southeast Asia

The Conversation: TikTok is propagandists’ new tool to win elections in Southeast Asia. “Propagandists’ strategic manoeuvring of public opinion on social media remains a dangerous threat to democracy in Southeast Asia. Over the years, strategic use of cybertroopers in Southeast Asian countries has been prominent, especially during the election periods. Political actors have attempted to sway public opinion via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to push for a political narrative to garner more supporters in the region. Now, TikTok, as the most downloaded app in Southeast Asia would serve as a new strategic tool for propagandists to push for political narrative during the electoral period.”

News@Northeastern: Donald Trump Was The Exception When It Comes To Benefiting From Facebook Ads

News@Northeastern: Donald Trump Was The Exception When It Comes To Benefiting From Facebook Ads. “It’s one of the first studies to show that Facebook ads can have an impact on voter turnout. Most of the research on Facebook ads hasn’t found statistically significant effects. This study did. When the right message is applied to the receptive audience, in areas with ‘high-salience’ elections—where there is greater interest and excitement in the election—then the ads work.”

New York Times: I Worked at Facebook. It’s Not Ready for This Year’s Election Wave.

New York Times: I Worked at Facebook. It’s Not Ready for This Year’s Election Wave.. “The world is not ready for the coming electoral tsunami. Neither is Facebook. With so many elections on the horizon — France, Kenya, Australia, Brazil, the Philippines and the United States will hold elections this year — the conversation now should focus on how Facebook is preparing.”