The Next Web: Facebook’s former PR firm seeded fake stories about bias at Apple News

The Next Web: Facebook’s former PR firm seeded fake stories about bias at Apple News. “Facebook‘s recently-fired PR firm allegedly floated a story to journalists that Apple News was biased against Republicans. The company, Definers Public Affairs, made headlines this week after a bombshell New York Times report revealed that it was employed by Facebook to dig up dirt on critics and competitors. One of these competitors, according to documents obtained by CNN, was Apple News.”

‘Nothing on this page is real’: How lies become truth in online America (Washington Post)

Washington Post: ‘Nothing on this page is real’: How lies become truth in online America. “The only light in the house came from the glow of three computer monitors, and Christopher Blair, 46, sat down at a keyboard and started to type. His wife had left for work and his children were on their way to school, but waiting online was his other community, an unreality where nothing was exactly as it seemed. He logged onto his website and began to invent his first news story of the day.” So why would someone do something like this? Read the whole article including this bit from the story: “In a good month, the advertising revenue from his website earned him as much as $15,000, and it had also won him a loyal army of online fans.”

CNET: The Cleaners documentary crawls into the scary side of Facebook

CNET: The Cleaners documentary crawls into the scary side of Facebook. “If you’re reading this, you’re on the internet. And if you’re on the internet, you need to see The Cleaners. Directed by Moritz Riesewieck and Hans Block, this incisive documentary shines a light on the most uncomfortable questions about social media and the online age. You might want to look away, but as the film shows, that’s a big part of the problem.”

CNET: Facebook tackles fake news with new news show on Facebook Watch

CNET: Facebook tackles fake news with new news show on Facebook Watch. “Facebook’s latest attempt to tackle fake news is a new news show for Facebook Watch. The new show, Uncovered, will launch in 2019. Each weekly 10-minute episode, designed to be watched on mobile devices, will focus on a single topic.”

Social media’s misinformation battle: No winners, so far (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Social media’s misinformation battle: No winners, so far. “Facebook and other social platforms have been fighting online misinformation and hate speech for two years. With the U.S. midterm elections just a few days away, there are signs that they’re making some headway, although they’re still a very long way from winning the war.”

BuzzFeed News: Twitter Just Launched A Midterms Page And It’s Already Surfacing Trolls And False, Hyperpartisan News

BuzzFeed News: Twitter Just Launched A Midterms Page And It’s Already Surfacing Trolls And False, Hyperpartisan News. “In the first major election cycle since the 2016 presidential campaign, which was marred by foreign actors and disinformation campaigns on social platforms, companies like Facebook and Twitter are under more pressure than ever to clean up their networks and surface more truthful, newsworthy content. And while many tweets featured on Twitter’s new midterms page come from the verified accounts of political candidates and journalists, there are also quite a few from known conspiracy theorists; users promoting disinformation about candidates; and accounts with few followers, no profile photos, and low tweet counts — all signs of bot or spam accounts.”

TechCrunch: Fake news ‘threat to democracy’ report gets back-burner response from UK gov’t

TechCrunch: Fake news ‘threat to democracy’ report gets back-burner response from UK gov’t . “The UK government has rejected a parliamentary committee’s call for a levy on social media firms to fund digital literacy lessons to combat the impact of disinformation online.”