Globe and Mail: Facebook reduces transparency of information on political-ad targeting

Globe and Mail: Facebook reduces transparency of information on political-ad targeting. “The company is asking users to complete a ‘captcha’ – a visual challenge that asks people to pick out similar items in a photo or type out a sequence of letters and numbers, for example. These captchas are preventing tools designed to monitor users’ feeds from automatically collecting ad-targeting information. The impact of the captchas on the tool’s ability to collect targeting information is significant. In August, more than 86 per cent of ads collected had targeting information. Since the federal election campaign began, that number has dropped to 16 per cent.”

Columbia Journalism Review: India had its first ‘WhatsApp election.’ We have a million messages from it

Columbia Journalism Review: India had its first ‘WhatsApp election.’ We have a million messages from it. “At the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, we used the Indian election cycle, which ran between April 11 and May 19, 2019, as a case study for assessing both general political discourse and information manipulation on WhatsApp. With no APIs, tools, or best practices in place to help outsiders tap into ongoing activity inside closed groups, we devised a strategy to monitor a subset of the political conversation, over a period of three and a half months. The study’s resulting data set—which grew to over a terabyte in size—contains 1.09 million messages, retrieved by joining 1,400 chat groups related to politics in the country.”

CNET: Twitter, you’ll crimp world leaders’ tweets? Good luck with that

CNET: Twitter, you’ll crimp world leaders’ tweets? Good luck with that. “Hey, @jack, can we talk some more? Two years ago, I asked seven questions about how you handled harassment, arguing, among other things, that you need to more clearly spell out enforcement policies for ‘newsworthy’ people, including the president of the United States. I wanted to know what rules and standards you’d hold them to.”

Casper Star-Tribune: Son of superman editor demands UW return historical archive after Cheney comments

Casper Star-Tribune: Son of superman editor demands UW return historical archive after Cheney comments. “For years, the University of Wyoming has managed the collection of comic book editor Mort Weisinger, who was the story editor of D.C.’s ‘Superman’ comics for three decades. But after all that time, UW, the home of those collections since 1982, could be losing the archives — because of recent comments by Wyoming’s Congresswoman, Liz Cheney.”

CNET: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responds to report he’s been meeting with conservatives

CNET: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responds to report he’s been meeting with conservatives. “Mark Zuckerberg said on Monday he meets with lots of people because that’s ‘part of learning,’ a comment prompted by a report detailing a series of quiet meetings the Facebook boss has had with conservative figures in the US over the summer. The meetings, in the form of small, off-record dinners at his homes since July, have included conservative talkshow hosts, journalists and at least one Republican lawmaker, Politico reported earlier in the day.”

Facebook Political Ads: What the 2020 Candidates’ Campaign Spending Reveals (New York Times)

New York Times: Facebook Political Ads: What the 2020 Candidates’ Campaign Spending Reveals. “Collectively, the 19 current Democratic candidates for president have poured nearly $32 million into Facebook ads this year — more money than they have spent so far on television ads, a striking measure of the social network’s ever-rising influence in politics. The heavy spending on Facebook comes even as leading party officials have raised alarms about the site’s role in American democracy.”