Middle East Eye: Saudi Arabia’s bot army flourishes as Twitter fails to tame the beast

Middle East Eye: Saudi Arabia’s bot army flourishes as Twitter fails to tame the beast. “You only need to search Twitter for a hashtag relating to a country in the Middle East to find one of these bot accounts. They typically copy-and-paste the same content, and feature a video clip with the distinctive Saudi 24 logo in the bottom right corner.”

NiemanLab: Instagram is busy fact-checking memes and rainbow hills while leaving political lies alone

NiemanLab: Instagram is busy fact-checking memes and rainbow hills while leaving political lies alone. “It’s a tough line for Instagram to walk as it tries to filter out misinformation and bad-faith faked images while leaving art — you know, art-art, the good kind — alone. Instagram users also called out the platform this month for fact-checking a Warren Buffett meme while leaving alone politicians’ lies and political ads.”

Wall Street Journal: Facebook Removes Pages That Coordinated Posts Defending Man Embroiled in Impeachment Probe

Wall Street Journal: Facebook Removes Pages That Coordinated Posts Defending Man Embroiled in Impeachment Probe. “Facebook Inc. late Friday took down a network of several dozen Facebook pages that were coordinating posts defending Robert F. Hyde, a figure who has become embroiled in the impeachment investigation.”

Content Moderation At Scale Is Impossible: YouTube Says That Frank Capra’s US Government WWII Propaganda Violates Community Guidelines (Techdirt)

Techdirt: Content Moderation At Scale Is Impossible: YouTube Says That Frank Capra’s US Government WWII Propaganda Violates Community Guidelines. “The film, which gives a US government-approved history of the lead up to World War II includes a bunch of footage of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Obviously, it wasn’t done to glorify them. The idea is literally the opposite. However, as you may recall, last summer when everyone was getting mad (again) at YouTube for hosting ‘Nazi’ content, YouTube updated its policies to ban ‘videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology.’ We already covered how this was shutting down accounts of history professors. And, now, it’s apparently leading them to take US propaganda offline as well.”

The Atlantic: Bots Are Destroying Political Discourse As We Know It

The Atlantic: Bots Are Destroying Political Discourse As We Know It. “Presidential-campaign season is officially, officially, upon us now, which means it’s time to confront the weird and insidious ways in which technology is warping politics. One of the biggest threats on the horizon: Artificial personas are coming, and they’re poised to take over political debate. The risk arises from two separate threads coming together: artificial-intelligence-driven text generation and social-media chatbots. These computer-generated ‘people’ will drown out actual human discussions on the internet.”

TechCrunch: India’s ruling party accused of running deceptive Twitter campaign to gain support for a controversial law

TechCrunch: India’s ruling party accused of running deceptive Twitter campaign to gain support for a controversial law. “Bharatiya Janata Party, the ruling party in India, has been accused of running a highly deceptive Twitter campaign to trick citizens into supporting a controversial law.”

UChicago News: Stamp collection provides rare picture of North Korea

UChicago News: Stamp collection provides rare picture of North Korea. “A group of masked dancers, frozen in dramatic poses. A plane descending at an airport, with another trailing in the distance. And a pair of … carnivorous dinosaurs? These disparate images all can be found within the University of Chicago Library’s new collection of North Korean stamps, assembled in a public online database to provide a unique glimpse of the insular country. The stamps, which span from 1962 to 2018, capture a variety of scenes, settings and characters—ranging from explicit propaganda to traditional Korean garb to simple depictions of wildlife.”