Study: It might be unethical to force AI to tell us the truth (The Next Web)

The Next Web: Study: It might be unethical to force AI to tell us the truth. “….it’s easy to see how building robots that can’t lie could make them patsies for humans who figure out how to exploit their honesty. If your client is negotiating like a human and your machine is bottom-lining everything, you could lose a deal over robo-human cultural differences, for example. None of that answers the question as to whether we should let machines lie to humans or each other. But it could be pragmatic.”

Mashable: How Facebook, Twitter, YouTube reacted to big events in 2020, including Trump’s many lies

Mashable: How Facebook, Twitter, YouTube reacted to big events in 2020, including Trump’s many lies. “The Mozilla Foundation, a nonprofit which advocates for a secure, open internet that supports democracy, has released an interactive timeline that shows the misinformation policy changes online platforms made before, during, and after the 2020 election, and how those actions intersect with major political and cultural events that spurred misinformation. Mozilla is most widely known for its Firefox browser, but the nonprofit also tracks online misinformation in an effort to improve tech policies.”

Psychology Today: State-Sponsored Bullshit, and Why Truth Matters

Psychology Today: State-Sponsored Bullshit, and Why Truth Matters. “This important guest post had to be reviewed by the United States government before I could share it with you. That’s ironic, because the authors are challenging the government’s sweeping pre-publication review process in this article. That challenge is part of their broader examination of the normalization of bullshit in contemporary American politics and government, and how very dangerous that is.”

New York Times: Could Facebook Actually Nuke Elizabeth Warren’s Campaign?

New York Times: Could Facebook Actually Nuke Elizabeth Warren’s Campaign?. “Yes, Facebook’s willingness to let politicians lie sets a worrying precedent. And yes, lack of oversight into the platform’s decisions opens up a host of plausible election interference conspiracies. But Facebook’s essential threat to democracy isn’t that Mr. Zuckerberg will intervene on behalf of his preferred candidate — it’s more fundamental than that. Mark Zuckerberg need not intervene, because Facebook, the platform, will do so instinctively.”

Rent-a-troll: Researchers pit disinformation farmers against each other (Ars Technica)

Ars Technica: Rent-a-troll: Researchers pit disinformation farmers against each other. “The same sorts of organizations that once made their money performing ‘black SEO’—using fraudulent means to raise paying customers’ search engine ranks, often for illicit reasons—are now diving into a whole new sort of online manipulation. Researchers at security threat tracking company Recorded Future have found companies selling disinformation campaign capabilities similar to the ones used by Russian ‘troll factories’ during the 2016 US presidential campaign and other state-sponsored information operations.”

CNN: Websites that peddle disinformation make millions of dollars in ads, new study finds

CNN: Websites that peddle disinformation make millions of dollars in ads, new study finds. “As the United States gears up for another presidential election, aware of the role online disinformation played in 2016, the business of publishing false or extremist content online remains a lucrative one. At least $235 million in revenue is generated annually from ads running on extremist and disinformation websites, according to a new study from the Global Disinformation Index provided exclusively to CNN ahead of its September release.” Lying is more lucrative than telling the truth? Now there’s a thought that’ll make your mouth sour.

Phys .org: No lie! FSU researcher developing world’s first online polygraph

Phys .org: No lie! FSU researcher developing world’s first online polygraph. “It’s tricky enough in face-to-face conversations that offer facial expressions, gestures and tone of voice because those physical cues add context. Spotting a liar gets even tougher in blind computer conversations. Florida State University researcher Shuyuan Ho wants to shed those blinders by creating a revolutionary online polygraph.”

New York Times: In Virginia House Race, Anonymous Attack Ads Pop Up on Facebook

New York Times: In Virginia House Race, Anonymous Attack Ads Pop Up on Facebook. “A competitive race in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District has an alarming new element: anonymous attack ads on Facebook. The ads, which appeared on a Facebook page called ‘Wacky Wexton Not,’ were purchased by a critic of Jennifer Wexton, a Democrat trying to unseat Representative Barbara Comstock, a Republican. The race is one of the most closely watched in the country.” Meanwhile, Chipotle free delivery ads are being flagged as political?

Gizmodo: When a Stranger Decides to Destroy Your Life

Gizmodo: When a Stranger Decides to Destroy Your Life. “Monika Glennon has lived in Huntsville, Alabama, for the last 12 years. Other than a strong Polish accent, she fits a certain stereotype of the All-American life. She’s blonde. Her husband is a veteran Marine. Her two children, a boy and a girl, joined the military as adults. She sells houses—she’s a real estate agent at Re/Max—helping others realize their own American dream. But in September 2015, she was suddenly plunged into an American nightmare. She got a call at 6 a.m. one morning from a colleague at Re/Max telling her something terrible had been posted about her on the Re/Max Facebook page. Glennon thought at first she meant that a client had left her a bad review, but it turned out to be much worse than that.”

BuzzFeed News: Facebook Said Alex Jones’ Threatening Rant Against Robert Mueller Doesn’t Violate Its Rules

BuzzFeed News: Facebook Said Alex Jones’ Threatening Rant Against Robert Mueller Doesn’t Violate Its Rules. “With his latest accusations of pedophilia, Alex Jones and Infowars continue to test the limits of Facebook’s rules. And Facebook continues to allow it. On his Monday afternoon show, Jones issued a prolonged rant against special counsel Robert Mueller, accusing him of raping children and overseeing their rape, and then pantomiming shooting the former FBI director. The show was streamed live on Jones’ personal, verified Facebook page, which has nearly 1.7 million likes.”

McClatchy DC: Fake, misleading social media posts exploding globally, Oxford study finds

McClatchy DC: Fake, misleading social media posts exploding globally, Oxford study finds. “Russia’s social media blitz to influence the 2016 U.S. election was part of a global ‘phenomenon’ in which a broad spectrum of governments and political parties used Internet platforms to spread junk news and disinformation in at least 48 countries last year, an Oxford University study has found.”

Gizmodo: FCC Emails Show Agency Spread Lies to Bolster Dubious DDoS Attack Claims

Gizmodo: FCC Emails Show Agency Spread Lies to Bolster Dubious DDoS Attack Claims. “As it wrestled with accusations about a fake cyberattack last spring, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) purposely misled several news organizations, choosing to feed journalists false information, while at the same time discouraging them from challenging the agency’s official story.”