Deutsche Welle: Far-right trolls active on social media before German election: research. “Right-wing internet trolls sought to influence Germany’s federal election in September by setting up dozens of fake YouTube, Twitter and Facebook accounts to help them manipulate the online political debate, two studies released on Tuesday revealed. One study, published by several German public broadcasters and the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, revealed how some 5,000 users on the ‘Reconquista Germanica’ (Germany’s recapture) platform planned their social media campaigns.”
Techdirt: More Than Half Of U.S. States Now Pushing Their Own Net Neutrality Rules. “Large ISP lobbyists, the FCC and agency head Ajit Pai are going to be rather busy for the foreseeable future. In the wake of the agency’s extremely unpopular net neutrality repeal, consumer groups note that 26 states (27 including a new effort in Kansas) have now taken action to protect net neutrality themselves — with more efforts on the way. The efforts range from attempts to pass state-level net neutrality rules banning anti-competitive behavior, to executive orders modifying state procurement rules to prohibit ISPs that violate net neutrality from getting state money or securing state contracts.”
Reuters: FCC reversal of net neutrality rules expected to be published Thursday: sources. “The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is expected to publish on Thursday its December order overturning the landmark Obama-era net neutrality rules, two sources briefed on the matter said Tuesday.”
The Star: State Police unveil crash prediction map, website. This is for Indiana. “The interactive map offers predictions for the current three-hour time window, but users can select an different period of time for that current day. The map updates based on the selections, using color shading to indicate the probability of a crash occurring on that date in geographic zones. Blue indicates a low probability, yellow indicates a moderate probability and red indicates a high probability. Locations of relevant past crashes can be seen as red and gray dots as the user zooms in on an area. Red dots represent fatal and EMS-response crashes, while gray dots indicate property-damage crashes.”
Hit 92.9: ACCC To Investigate Facebook And Google Following Privacy Concerns. “Do you know just how much personal information you’re handing over to Facebook and Google? You may be surprised, according to the ACCC. The consumer watchdog has been asked to look into whether the tech giants are collecting information in a transparent way.” The ACCC in this case is the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Digital Trends: Governments are stepping in to regulate social media, but there may be a better way. “Social media moderation is often about finding a balance between creating a safe online environment and inhibiting free speech. In many cases, the social media platform themselves steps up to protect users, like with Twitter’s recent rule overhaul, or to keep advertisers, like in YouTube’s recent changes after big advertisers boycotted the video platform. But, in other cases, such as Germany’s new hate speech law and a potential new similar European Union law, moderation is government mandated.”
TechCrunch: Fake news is an existential crisis for social media . “The claim and counter claim that spread out around ‘fake news’ like an amorphous cloud of meta-fakery, as reams of additional ‘information’ — some of it equally polarizing but a lot of it more subtle in its attempts to mislead (for e.g., the publicly unseen ‘on background’ info routinely sent to reporters to try to invisible shape coverage in a tech firm’s favor) — are applied in equal and opposite directions in the interests of obfuscation; using speech and/or misinformation as a form of censorship to fog the lens of public opinion. This bottomless follow-up fodder generates yet more FUD in the fake news debate. Which is ironic, as well as boring, of course. But it’s also clearly deliberate.” One of those articles that deserves a better headline than it gets. A deep dive with lots of links to other news articles and background. Very good stuff.