Ottawa Start: Help OttWatch enter data for 2018 municipal election donations. “After about two weeks of effort, OttWatch and volunteers have digitized almost all campaign donation records for the 2018 municipal election. The website for city hall nerds, run by Kevin O’Donnell, now has more than 2,700 (over 78 per cent) of 3,490 donations for the 2018 vote entered into their database. It’s a much improved way of tracking donations — otherwise you’d have to sift through PDF filings for individual candidates.”
New Bloom: Is China Attempting To Influence Taiwanese Elections Through Social Media?. “CONCERNS REGARDING Chinese attempts to interfere in Taiwanese elections are in the news again after a wave of unusual activity reported by moderators of well-known Facebook pages with a pro-Taiwan slant.”
Rantt Media: Mayor Pete’s Media-Made Moment. “If you were to ask someone who specializes in search engine optimization (SEO) what the most important aspect of driving traffic to a site is they would reply with one word – keywords. Simply put, keywords are the end-all-be-all when it comes to building an audience on the web. The more keywords you rank for, the easier it is for potential readers to discover you on search engines. The easier it is for people to discover you on search engines the likelier they are to click your link. And finally, the likelier people are to click your link, the better chances you’ll have that some of them click an ad on your site that makes you money. Right now, Pete Buttigieg is THE keyword for news publications to be ranking for.”
It’s far too early for me to be thinking about which candidate I want to support in 2020 — I am still listening to them and fact gathering. And I like Mr. Buttigieg fine, if only because he has a brain in his head and appears to make the most of it. But I haven’t seen any other story make this point: when companies chase SEO, this kind of focus on a name for clicks, and when they get clicks for a name they devote even MORE focus to it — it generates this kind of attention tornado that drowns other names out, no matter what the intention of the search engine or ranking algorithm.
Ars Technica: DHS, FBI say election systems in all 50 states were targeted in 2016. “A joint intelligence bulletin (JIB) has been issued by the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation to state and local authorities regarding Russian hacking activities during the 2016 presidential election. While the bulletin contains no new technical information, it is the first official report to confirm that the Russian reconnaissance and hacking efforts in advance of the election went well beyond the 21 states confirmed in previous reports.”
Quartz: Pro-Modi Twitter bots manipulated a hashtag at a record-breaking rate. “In February, two duelling hashtags—one in support of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and one opposing him—used bots to boost their messaging. The overall traffic driving both hashtags was heavily automated, finds a report by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFR Lab), but the pro-Modi hashtag far more so.”
CNET: Facebook’s AI helps block or remove 1 million accounts each day. “Facebook is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to block or remove one million accounts a day that violate its rules against misinformation, hate speech and voter suppression ahead of elections in India.”
BuzzFeed News: Israel Election: Twitter Suspended Dozens Of Hebrew-Language Accounts Run By A Strange Chinese Religious Sect. “Twitter has suspended dozens of suspicious Hebrew-language accounts run by a controversial Chinese religious group ahead of Israel’s national elections, BuzzFeed News has learned. It’s at least the second such suspension in the run-up to the elections, but the company is saying little about what actions it took or why. Nor is it clear what the religious group’s goals were before Twitter’s enforcement actions.”