Nieman Lab: Did Facebook’s faulty data push news publishers to make terrible decisions on video?. “‘Five years to all video’ wasn’t just [Nicola] Mendelsohn’s line — it came from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself. ‘We’re entering this new golden age of video,’ Zuckerberg told BuzzFeed News in April 2016. ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video.’ But even as Facebook executives were insisting publicly that video consumption was skyrocketing, it was becoming clear that some of the metrics the company had used to calculate time spent on videos were wrong. “
NBC News: Exclusive: Twitter pulls down bot network that pushed pro-Saudi talking points about disappeared journalist. “Twitter suspended a network of suspected Twitter bots on Thursday that pushed pro-Saudi Arabia talking points about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the past week.”
Poynter: Study: Fake news is making college students question all news. “It’s tough out there for college students these days — especially on their news feeds. According to a new media consumption study, almost half of the nearly 6,000 American college students surveyed said they lacked confidence in discerning real from fake news on social media. And 36 percent of them said the threat of misinformation made them trust all media less.”
Stanford University: Stanford scholars are helping journalists do investigative journalism through data. “A team of Stanford University scholars are launching a data-driven initiative to help journalists find stories at a lower cost, to support local newsrooms explore public interest issues and fight against misinformation.”
Reuters: Google latest to withdraw from Saudi conference. “Pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia since prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, Washington Post columnist and critic of Saudi policies, went missing. He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Google said in a statement that Google Cloud Chief Executive Diane Greene would not attend the Future Investment Initiative Summit scheduled to be held in Riyadh starting Oct. 23.”
Columbia University: Fighting Fake News Before It Was Trendy: TC’s Institute for Propaganda Analysis. “Global tensions are simmering. Ethnic minorities are being persecuted. Propaganda and fake news stories are filling the headlines. How to sort fact from faction? It sounds familiar, but the year was 1937. At Teachers College, a new organization called the Institute for Propaganda – bankrolled by the department store magnate and philanthropist Edward Filene – has set up shop under Clyde Miller, a former reporter for The Cleveland Plain Dealer. As reported in The Columbia Journalism Review, for the next decade, IPA’s seven-member staff devoted its efforts to analyzing propaganda and misinformation in the news, publishing newsletters, and educating schoolchildren to be more tolerant of racial, religious, and ethnic differences.”
Bellingcat: From Memes to Infowars: How 75 Fascist Activists Were “Red-Pilled”. “The vast majority of domestic terror attacks in the U.S. are carried out by white supremacist organizations. Atomwaffen, a neo-Nazi death squad with five killings to their name, is probably the deadliest fascist group to have arisen since 2016. One member of Atomwaffen, Vasillios Pistolis, was an active duty U.S. marine when he marched at the first Unite the Right rally. Pistolis also posted regularly on a series of fascist and white supremacist Discord servers, prior to and after joining Atomwaffen. The media collective Unicorn Riot has archived hundreds of thousands of posts from these Discord servers. Their database includes dozens of conversations where fascists discuss how they were converted to their extremist beliefs. In an effort to understand that process, Bellingcat collected ‘red-pilling’ stories from seventy-five fascist activists. The analysis is below, details on the activists we studied can be found here.” Disturbing content, to say the least.