Phys .org: 1 in 5 state GOP lawmakers in far-right Facebook groups, study says

Phys .org: 1 in 5 state GOP lawmakers in far-right Facebook groups, study says. “In a year-long review of the 7,383 seats in state legislatures in the 2021-2022 session, the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR) found that 4,011 seats were held by Republicans. Of those GOP lawmakers, 872—21.74%—had joined far-right Facebook groups, according to the report, ‘Breaching the Mainstream.’”

AFP: New Facebook tools target misinformation in user groups

AFP: New Facebook tools target misinformation in user groups. “Facebook on Wednesday began letting groups automatically reject posts identified as containing false information, taking aim at a part of the massive network that has drawn particular concern from misinformation watchdogs. More than 1.8 billion people per month use Facebook Groups, which allow members to gather around topics ranging from parenting to politics.”

WIRED: Dependent on Facebook Groups? Here’s How to Break Free

WIRED: Dependent on Facebook Groups? Here’s How to Break Free. “In this group, and other similar Facebook groups I belong to, people ask for extra vials of insulin, a spare continuous glucose monitor, supplies that will help their children survive until morning and beyond. I don’t know what I would do without these circles that I go to daily for input from more experienced parents of kids with type 1 diabetes, and, occasionally, simply to express sadness that my son has to struggle with this disease. Complicating my reliance on Facebook groups is the unfortunate fact that I, like many others, have serious issues with Facebook, Meta, and Mark Zuckerberg.”

The Conversation: Police location sites on Facebook are helping drivers avoid detection for drug driving

The Conversation: Police location sites on Facebook are helping drivers avoid detection for drug driving . “The last decade has seen a growing number of Facebook groups and pages dedicated to revealing the locations of police traffic operations. These Facebook communities rely on users to alert the group or page when they drive past a random breath testing or roadside drug testing operation, as well as speed and mobile phone cameras. Our study, published recently in the journal Safety Science, aimed to find out more about how these sites were being used by a sample of 890 people who take drugs.”

PysPost: Anti-vaccine groups on Facebook were spreading distrust in COVID-19 vaccines before one was even developed

PsyPost: Anti-vaccine groups on Facebook were spreading distrust in COVID-19 vaccines before one was even developed. “A systematic study of Facebook posts by anti-vaccine groups revealed that these accounts were spreading distrust in COVID-19 vaccines as far back as February 2020 — before the US government even launched its COVID-19 vaccine development program. The findings, published in the Journal of Public Health, highlight how anti-vaccine groups got a running start on public health messaging and impeded the vaccine rollout.”

The Daily Beast: How Anime Porn Became a Weapon for Rival Terror Groups on Facebook

The Daily Beast: How Anime Porn Became a Weapon for Rival Terror Groups on Facebook. “The Facebook group ‘Soldiers of the Righteous Caliphate’ was a bubbling cauldron of noxious extremist support drawn from rival groups including the Islamic State, and the Taliban. It was filled with beheading imagery, military exercises, hand-drawn faceless portraits of the late ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and—somehow—plenty of anime porn. With just over 24,000 members, the Facebook group represented a perfect case study in the malicious mix of extremist support on the platform, which continues to evade detection and gain traction. So why was it full of pornography?”

Politico: Islamic extremists sidestep Facebook’s content police

Politico: Islamic extremists sidestep Facebook’s content police. “Photos of beheadings, extremist propaganda and violent hate speech related to Islamic State and the Taliban were shared for months within Facebook groups over the past year despite the social networking giant’s claims it had increased efforts to remove such content. The posts — some tagged as ‘insightful’ and ‘engaging’ via new Facebook tools to promote community interactions — championed the Islamic extremists’ violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, including videos of suicide bombings and calls to attack rivals across the region and in the West, according to a review of social media activity between April and December. At least one of the groups contained more than 100,000 members.”

“Corrosive Communities”: How A Facebook Fight Over Wind Power Predicts the Future of Local Politics in America (BuzzFeed News)

BuzzFeed News: “Corrosive Communities”: How A Facebook Fight Over Wind Power Predicts the Future of Local Politics in America. “Like higher-profile local battles over mask mandates and critical race theory, disagreements over wind policy have become intensely antagonistic and frequently hysterical. But unlike those issues, opposition to turbines isn’t neatly polarized along red–blue lines: It often pits conservatives against conservatives and liberals against liberals. Nor does it revolve around a once-in-a-generation event, like a global pandemic. Instead, it’s elemental — quite literally, in the air. In this sense, it may offer the purest example yet of the power of social media to warp local politics in 2021, to make a single emotional issue stand in for and subsume all others.”

KentOnline: The Facebook users who reacted with laughing emojis to news of 27 asylum seekers drowning in the Channel

KentOnline: The Facebook users who reacted with laughing emojis to news of 27 asylum seekers drowning in the Channel. “The deaths of 27 men, women and children willing to risk everything was the worst Channel tragedy yet, but not everyone saw it that way. Ed McConnell waded into Facebook’s murkiest waters and found a small group pumped full of hate and completely unwilling to engage.”

CNET: Facebook to demote all Groups content from users who break its rules

CNET: Facebook to demote all Groups content from users who break its rules. “Facebook said Wednesday it will demote all content posted in Groups from users who have broken the site’s rules, making potentially problematic content harder for others to find. The social network will also let people who manage groups know when content from members has been flagged by Facebook and will offer administrators the ability to appeal before a post gets removed.”

Daily Dot: 2.5 million Americans are part of COVID denial groups on Facebook, new study finds

Daily Dot: 2.5 million Americans are part of COVID denial groups on Facebook, new study finds. “Facebook has more than 1,700 groups about COVID-19 denial that have nearly 2.5 million members in them, according to new research. The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights (IREHR) published a lengthy report recently that dug into COVID denial groups on the social media platform. The organization found 1,732 groups dedicated to COVID denial that had 2,445,602 members in them from across the country.”

New York Times: Facebook groups promoting ivermectin as a Covid-19 treatment continue to flourish.

New York Times: Facebook groups promoting ivermectin as a Covid-19 treatment continue to flourish.. “Facebook has become more aggressive at enforcing its coronavirus misinformation policies in the past year. But the platform remains a popular destination for people discussing how to acquire and use ivermectin, a drug typically used to treat parasitic worms, even though the Food and Drug Administration has warned people against taking it to treat Covid-19.”