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.”
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. “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. “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.”
Yorkton This Week: Technology near for real-time TV political fact checks. “A Duke University team expects to have a product available for election year that will allow television networks to offer real-time fact checks onscreen when a politician makes a questionable claim during a speech or debate. The mystery is whether any network will choose to use it.”
The Register: Talk in Trump’s tweets tells whether tale is true: Code can mostly spot Prez lies from wording. “Boffins from the Netherlands and France claim that the word choices and sentence construction in President Donald Trump’s tweets can be used more often than not for lie detection.”
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?