Washington Post: Andrew Cuomo declared the pandemic a ‘no-politics zone.’ Behind the scenes, he worked to burnish his own standing.

Washington Post: Andrew Cuomo declared the pandemic a ‘no-politics zone.’ Behind the scenes, he worked to burnish his own standing.. “The New York governor, in his third term, rose to stardom last spring with his fierce denunciations of Trump, his no-nonsense approach at his news briefings and his occasional criticisms of other politicians who were not following public health guidance. He was embraced as a liberal hero and regularly railed against political interference by others in the response to the pandemic, holding up New York as a beacon of medical light during a time of national darkness…. In recent weeks, that record has been shadowed by allegations that his administration withheld the number of deaths in nursing homes linked to the coronavirus — a matter now under federal investigation — and revelations that Cuomo’s family members benefited from preferential coronavirus testing.”

#Election2020: the first public Twitter dataset on the 2020 US Presidential election (PubMed)

PubMed: #Election2020: the first public Twitter dataset on the 2020 US Presidential election. “The study of online chatter is paramount, especially in the wake of important voting events like the recent November 3, 2020 U.S. Presidential election and the inauguration on January 21, 2021. Limited access to social media data is often the primary obstacle that limits our abilities to study and understand online political discourse. To mitigate this impediment and empower the Computational Social Science research community, we are publicly releasing a massive-scale, longitudinal dataset of U.S. politics- and election-related tweets. This multilingual dataset encompasses over 1.2 billion tweets and tracks all salient U.S. political trends, actors, and events from 2019 to the time of this writing.”

NBC News: Gianforte tests positive for COVID-19

NBC News: Gianforte tests positive for COVID-19. ” The governor’s office announced Monday evening that Gov. Greg Gianforte tested positive for COVID-19. Gianforte had just received his first vaccine dose last week. A spokesperson for the governor says they do not know how he contracted it, and added that he has held no public events since Thursday evening.”

Atlantic Council: Social media helps and hurts Iranian elections. Here’s how.

Atlantic Council: Social media helps and hurts Iranian elections. Here’s how.. “The internet has always been one of the most challenging issues for the Iranian government, especially during elections. Over the past three years alone, Iran has tried to meet this challenge on numerous occasions by shutting down the internet during nationwide protests or blocking popular apps and websites. According to the 2020 Internet freedom index, Iran ranks at the bottom at fifteenth or, to put it in another way, “not free”. In this piece, I will try to examine the pros and cons of social media during every Iranian election since 2009 and speculate about the potential of a new app ahead of the June vote.”

Reform Austin News: Gov. Greg Abbott Publicly Slammed Facebook. Privately, He’s Courting the Social Media Giant to Build a Second Data Center in Texas.

Reform Austin News: Gov. Greg Abbott Publicly Slammed Facebook. Privately, He’s Courting the Social Media Giant to Build a Second Data Center in Texas.. “Last month, Gov. Greg Abbott blasted the actions of Facebook as ‘un-American [and] un-Texan,’ accusing it and other social media giants of spearheading a ‘dangerous movement to silence conservative voices.’… At the same time, his office was working quietly with the company with the hope that it will soon build a second data center in the state, according to documents provided to The Texas Tribune by the Tech Transparency Project, a technology research arm of the nonprofit watchdog group Campaign for Accountability.”

Al Jazeera: Facebook says will curb hate speech as Indian states go to polls

Al Jazeera: Facebook says will curb hate speech as Indian states go to polls. “Facebook has said it is taking steps to combat hate speech and misinformation in India as the world’s biggest democracy holds months-long multi-phase elections in four states and a federal territory. ‘We recognise that there are certain types of content, such as hate speech, that could lead to imminent, offline harm,’ the social networking giant said in a blog post dated March 30.”

The Hill: Sarah Palin encourages mask wearing after revealing COVID-19 diagnosis

The Hill: Sarah Palin encourages mask wearing after revealing COVID-19 diagnosis. “Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) says that she previously tested positive for coronavirus and is encouraging Americans to mask up in order to slow its spread. Palin, 57, confirmed her COVID-19 diagnosis in an interview with People magazine published Wednesday, stating that she and some of her family members, including her son and daughter, tested positive.”

El País: Spain’s social media provocateurs gear up for digital war ahead of Madrid election

El País: Spain’s social media provocateurs gear up for digital war ahead of Madrid election. “If the May 4 election in Madrid is a war between communism and freedom in the eyes of the political right, [Luis “Alvise” Pérez] is the closest thing they have to a kamikaze. Always prepared to overstep the mark, the Seville-born 31-year-old’s nickname is a frequent trending topic, generating both hatred and admiration. As far as his admirers are concerned, his fearless ability to stir things up is ideal for engaging in cyber-combat on social media, where the new hyper-polarized politics play out and people like Alvise thrive.”

Fighting online extremism: Polarization in social media and how to improve the public conversation (Phys .org)

Phys .org: Fighting online extremism: Polarization in social media and how to improve the public conversation. “In his new book, “Breaking the Social Media Prism,” [Chris] Bail dives into political polarization and its manifestations on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Spun from research he and others have done at Duke’s Polarization Lab, Bail examines why political partisans are so unlikely to be swayed by other points of view, and offers tips and tools for people attempting to navigate social media in good faith.”

Politico: ‘Time is not on our side’ — Biden navigates cyber attacks without a cyber czar

Politico: ‘Time is not on our side’ — Biden navigates cyber attacks without a cyber czar. “The failure to fill the role, which would be responsible for coordinating the entire U.S. government’s defensive cyber operations, comes as the new administration grapples with how to kick suspected Russian and Chinese hackers out of federal cyber infrastructure following two major breaches. And it lays bare the challenges in setting up a brand new agency that could encroach upon some power centers in the White House, particularly the National Security Council.”

South China Morning Post: Singapore opposition politician ordered to pay PM Lee Hsien Loong US$99,000 in defamation case

South China Morning Post: Singapore opposition politician ordered to pay PM Lee Hsien Loong US$99,000 in defamation case. “A Singapore court has ordered an opposition politician to pay Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong S$133,000 (US$99,000) in damages for defamation in one of two recent libel suits launched by the island nation’s premier over online comments about him.”

TIME: Facebook Acted Too Late to Tackle Misinformation on 2020 Election, Report Finds

TIME: Facebook Acted Too Late to Tackle Misinformation on 2020 Election, Report Finds. “The report, by the online advocacy group Avaaz, found that if Facebook had not waited until October to tweak its algorithms to stem false and toxic content amplified on the platform, the company could have prevented an estimated 10.1 billion views on the 100 most prominent pages that repeatedly shared misinformation on the platform ahead of the election.”

KSNT: Kansas bill seeks to prevent social media sites from blocking political speech

KSNT: Kansas bill seeks to prevent social media sites from blocking political speech. “After the 2020 election and the controversies that followed, Hutchinson Senator Mark Steffen decided to sponsor a bill to address what social media allows. The new proposal specifically states that harassing and objectionable speech cannot include political information or expression.”