TechCrunch: Facebook isn’t free speech, it’s algorithmic amplification optimized for outrage

TechCrunch: Facebook isn’t free speech, it’s algorithmic amplification optimized for outrage. “The problem is that Facebook doesn’t offer free speech; it offers free amplification. No one would much care about anything you posted to Facebook, no matter how false or hateful, if people had to navigate to your particular page to read your rantings, as in the very early days of the site. But what people actually read on Facebook is what’s in their News Feed … and its contents, in turn, are determined not by giving everyone an equal voice, and not by a strict chronological timeline.”

NBC News: Anti-vaccination groups still crowdfunding on Facebook despite crackdown

NBC News: Anti-vaccination groups still crowdfunding on Facebook despite crackdown. “Activists planning to line California roadways with anti-vaccination billboards full of misinformation are paying for them through Facebook fundraisers, despite a platform-wide crackdown on such campaigns.”

ScienceBlog: How Fake News Spreads Like A Real Virus

ScienceBlog: How Fake News Spreads Like A Real Virus. “When it comes to real fake news, the kind of disinformation that Russia deployed during the 2016 elections, ‘going viral’ isn’t just a metaphor. Using the tools for modelling the spread of infectious disease, cyber-risk researchers at Stanford Engineering are analyzing the spread of fake news much as if it were a strain of Ebola.”

Focus here, not there: These are the gaps in political misinformation research (Nieman Lab)

Nieman Lab: Focus here, not there: These are the gaps in political misinformation research. “In a paper to be published in an upcoming issue of American Behavioral Scientist, Brian Weeks, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, and Homero Gil de Zúñiga of the University of Vienna outline the ‘critical issues’ that they hope political communications research will focus on in the future. “

Sky News: Fight fake news by tracking political parties’ social media, says Oxford study

Sky News: Fight fake news by tracking political parties’ social media, says Oxford study. “Political parties that spread fake news online should be punished with bigger fines and restrictions on their use of data, according to a University of Oxford report. The report, released today, also recommends that the Electoral Commission should keep a database of political campaigners’ social media accounts to keep track of the material they are posting.”

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.”