Wanted in Rome: Italy’s fascist landmarks mapped in new website

Wanted in Rome: Italy’s fascist landmarks mapped in new website. “An online map charting the existing monuments, buildings and memorials honouring fascism in Italy was launched on Tuesday by the Istituto Ferruccio Parri, an historical research institute in Milan. The luoghi del fascismo website is hailed as Italy’s first nationwide project to document the surviving traces of Benito Mussolini’s regime and assess how the memory of fascism has been preserved and even revived in recent decades.”

WIRED: Google Search Is Quietly Damaging Democracy

WIRED: Google Search Is Quietly Damaging Democracy. “Google’s latest desire to answer our questions for us, rather than requiring us to click on the returns and find the answers for ourselves, is not particularly problematic if what you’re seeking is a straightforward fact like how many ounces make up a gallon. The problem is, many rely on search engines to seek out information about more convoluted topics. And, as my research reveals, this shift can lead to incorrect returns that often disrupt democratic participation, confirm unsubstantiated claims, and are easily manipulatable by people looking to spread falsehoods.”

Brookings Institution: Misinformation is eroding the public’s confidence in democracy

Brookings Institution: Misinformation is eroding the public’s confidence in democracy. “The National Intelligence Council has found no indications that any foreign actor has interfered in the technical aspect of voting, such as voter registration, voting and casting ballots, vote tabulation or in the reporting of election results, which is great. However, the spread of false information about the voting systems on social media destabilizes the public’s trust in election processes and results.”

WIRED: Democracy Is Asking Too Much of Its Data

WIRED: Democracy Is Asking Too Much of Its Data. “WE’VE ALLOWED OUR democracy to devolve into a game of musical chairs. The population of the United States has tripled, while states must fight over the same 435 seats and must see their fates determined by an algorithmic system plagued by arbitrary outcomes. It is time to enlarge the House of Representatives, a conclusion shared by a bipartisan committee of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. “

Romania Insider: The National Archives will fully digitize its collection of photographs depicting Communist Romania

Romania Insider: The National Archives will fully digitize its collection of photographs depicting Communist Romania. “Thousands of photographs of Communist Romania and of Romania as a Constitutional Monarchy between 1921-1947, managed by The National Archives are going to be scanned and digitized. The Institute for the Investigation of the Crimes of Communism and the Memory of the Romanian Exile will collaborate with the National Archives of Romania on this project.”

Montana State University: Montanan’s 1972 Constitutional Convention retrospective interviews now archived at MSU Library

Montana State University: Montanan’s 1972 Constitutional Convention retrospective interviews now archived at MSU Library. “Montana State University Library’s Archives and Special Collection has created a searchable online repository of video interviews and transcripts of surviving delegates and staffers from the Montana Constitutional Convention of 1972.”

Brookings Institution: China and Russia are joining forces to spread disinformation

Brookings Institution: China and Russia are joining forces to spread disinformation. “Though Russian and Chinese interests diverge in important ways, they are increasingly collaborating on the narratives being supplied to domestic audiences, feeding similar disinformation and propaganda to a citizenry increasingly cut off from the global web…. Against the backdrop of last month’s joint statement from Xi and Putin, this collaboration should be seen as part of a broader project to reshape the global information landscape to favor the Kremlin and Beijing’s authoritarian political projects.”

European Parliament: European Parliament launches website in cooperation with Ukrainian Parliament

European Parliament: European Parliament launches website in cooperation with Ukrainian Parliament. “‘The EU stands with Ukraine’: the website (in English and Ukrainian) set up by Parliament, provides the latest news, videos and podcasts, relevant legislation and resolutions to show how the EU is helping Ukraine. Content from the Ukrainian Parliament could also be shared on the site. Actively supporting EU efforts to promote democracy and human rights in the world is one of Parliament’s core responsibilities.”

Investigating Russia Around the World: A GIJN Instant Toolkit (Global Investigative Journalism Network)

Global Investigative Journalism Network: Investigating Russia Around the World: A GIJN Instant Toolkit. “Russia’s war against Ukraine has sparked an explosion of interest in what Moscow is up to around the world. With that in mind, GIJN has assembled a kind of starter-toolkit to help journalists track Russian assets, political interference, and disinformation in their countries. From oligarch planes to sanctions trackers, you’ll find over 30 useful sites here. We’ve also included some of the best tools we’ve seen for following Russia’s war on Ukraine. This is a work-in-progress, so be sure to send us your comments and additions.”

The Verge: The Internet Is A Force Multiplier For Ukraine

The Verge: The Internet Is A Force Multiplier For Ukraine. “After being widely credited for Trump’s election in 2016, and preparing to initiate the biggest war of the social network era, Russia might have been expected to excel at information warfare. Instead, like the rest of the war, it has gone quite badly for them. It is Ukraine that has been masterful in its use of social media — and while that may not prove decisive in whether or not it overcomes Russia’s superior military, at the very least it complicates our understanding of big tech and democracy. Today, let’s talk about how.”

Harvard Business Review: How to Hold Social Media Accountable for Undermining Democracy

Harvard Business Review: How to Hold Social Media Accountable for Undermining Democracy. “While the blame for President Trump’s incitement to insurrection lies squarely with him, the biggest social media companies — most prominently my former employer, Facebook — are absolutely complicit. They have not only allowed Trump to lie and sow division for years, their business models have exploited our biases and weaknesses and abetted the growth of conspiracy-touting hate groups and outrage machines. They have done this without bearing any responsibility for how their products and business decisions effect our democracy; in this case, including allowing an insurrection to be planned and promoted on their platforms.”

Social Media: Threat to or Tool of Authoritarianism? (Harvard International Review)

Harvard International Review: Social Media: Threat to or Tool of Authoritarianism?. “Given the growing weight of social media’s influence on society, the key question is whether social media will become a sentinel against systematic oppression and injustice, effectively posing a serious challenge to authoritarian regimes. In the case of China, while social media may not have the power to cause a regime change, it will, in coming years, challenge the government’s ironclad authority and lack of accountability to its people. This clearly manifests in times of crisis, most recently, with the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.”

State of the Planet, Columbia University: New Website Maps and Models the Science of Peace

State of the Planet, Columbia University: New Website Maps and Models the Science of Peace. “A new website … centering on recent research on sustainably peaceful societies has just been launched at The Earth Institute at Columbia University. The website presents an interactive introduction to the findings and outputs of the work of a multidisciplinary team of scholars that began studying peaceful societies in 2014. It showcases a global map of peaceful societies, findings from hundreds of empirical studies, and peace tech visualizations and simulations from the Sustaining Peace Project at the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4), which seeks to advocate for more a more comprehensive understanding of how peace is sustained with local stakeholders, policymakers, and academics.”