Defense One: How to Counter China’s Coronavirus Disinformation Campaign

Defense One: How to Counter China’s Coronavirus Disinformation Campaign. “Whether we like it or not, the United States is engaged on a new battlefield defined by the ‘speed, spread, and accessibility of information,’ as P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking write in their prescient book, Like War: The Weaponization of Social Media. But our government does not appear to have received the memo. As a result, we’re losing the global war over the narrative about COVID-19 in the midst of a global pandemic. And there is much more at stake than words.”

CNET: Inside a pro-Trump YouTube disinformation network that spans Vietnam to Bosnia

CNET: Inside a pro-Trump YouTube disinformation network that spans Vietnam to Bosnia. “YouTube removed at least 20 channels posting false or divisive content to generate ad dollars. The channels used voice-over actors to read scripts. At least one of them was hired on Fiverr, the freelance marketplace.”

Vice: Google Is Putting Amazon Prime Ads on Russia-Backed Sites Spreading Coronavirus Conspiracies

Vice: Google Is Putting Amazon Prime Ads on Russia-Backed Sites Spreading Coronavirus Conspiracies. “New research by the Global Disinformation Network has revealed that 1,400 fake news websites spreading coronavirus conspiracy theories across Europe have been funded to the tune of $76 million by ad tech companies — with more than 60% of the revenue coming from Google alone. Many of those websites are linked to the Kremlin or directly funded by the Russian government.”

CNN: Russian election meddling is back — via Ghana and Nigeria — and in your feeds

CNN: Russian election meddling is back — via Ghana and Nigeria — and in your feeds. “The Russian trolls are back — and once again trying to poison the political atmosphere in the United States ahead of this year’s elections. But this time they are better disguised and more targeted, harder to identify and track. And they have found an unlikely home, far from Russia itself.”

Washington Post: State Department blames ‘swarms of online, false personas’ from Russia for wave of coronavirus misinformation online

Washington Post: State Department blames ‘swarms of online, false personas’ from Russia for wave of coronavirus misinformation online. “A top State Department official said Thursday that Russia is behind ‘swarms of online, false personas’ that sought to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media sites, stressing the ‘entire ecosystem of Russian disinformation is at play.’ The latest warning came from Lea Gabrielle, the coordinator of the government’s Global Engagement Center, in testimony to Congress.”

Wired: Russia Is Learning How to Bypass Facebook’s Disinfo Defenses

Wired: Russia Is Learning How to Bypass Facebook’s Disinfo Defenses. “Since Russia’s stunning influence operations during the 2016 United States presidential race, state and federal officials, researchers, and tech companies have been on high alert for a repeat performance. With the 2020 election now just seven months away, though, newly surfaced social media posts indicate that Russia’s Internet Research Agency is adapting its methods to circumvent those defenses.”

Poynter: Disinformers are targeting Taiwan as a country where coronavirus is out of control

Poynter: Disinformers are targeting Taiwan as a country where coronavirus is out of control. “While struggling to fight the new coronavirus, Taiwan is also witnessing a serious digital attack driven by malicious disinformers. In the last few days, dozens of profiles and bots on Facebook and Twitter have posted different pieces of content suggesting that the COVID-19 is completely out of control in Taiwan and that the government doesn’t know what to do to protect its people. Active fact-checkers can already see political motivation behind it.”

The Root: A Clapback to Russian Trolls

The Root: A Clapback to Russian Trolls. “Just last week, new reports of interference emerged—this time showing Russia’s efforts to support both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the 2020 elections. The details of this most recent round of interference have not yet been released. Nevertheless, it is important to begin to consider how the black community and other communities of color may be targeted in the Kremlin’s new slew of disinformation campaigns.”

NiemanLab: Who needs deepfakes? Simple out-of-context photos can be a powerfully low-tech form of misinformation

NiemanLab: Who needs deepfakes? Simple out-of-context photos can be a powerfully low-tech form of misinformation. “When you think of visual misinformation, maybe you think of deepfakes — videos that appear real but have actually been created using powerful video editing algorithms. The creators edit celebrities into pornographic movies, and they can put words into the mouths of people who never said them. But the majority of visual misinformation that people are exposed to involves much simpler forms of deception. One common technique involves recycling legitimate old photographs and videos and presenting them as evidence of recent events.”

CNN: Facebook removes accounts run from Iran targeting Americans

CNN: Facebook removes accounts run from Iran targeting Americans. “Facebook (FB) announced Wednesday morning that it had removed a small network of fake social media accounts it said were run from Iran and were posting about US politics. Twitter also said it removed accounts from Iran, but said its investigations were ongoing and provided few details.”

New York Times: Epoch Times, Punished by Facebook, Gets a New Megaphone on YouTube

New York Times: Epoch Times, Punished by Facebook, Gets a New Megaphone on YouTube. “The shifting tactics of partisan publishers pose a challenge to tech platforms in the lead-up to the 2020 election. Despite their efforts to limit the spread of misinformation, the platforms remain a powerful megaphone for publishers like The Epoch Times, which has used conspiracy theories and dubious growth tactics to expand its audience. In all, the outlet has spent more than $1 million on YouTube ads, according to a person familiar with its spending, who discussed private information on the condition of anonymity.”

Exclusive: This site pays Americans to write ‘news’ articles. Signs indicate it originates in Iran (CNN)

CNN: Exclusive: This site pays Americans to write ‘news’ articles. Signs indicate it originates in Iran. “American Herald Tribune bills itself as a ‘genuinely independent online media outlet.’ Set up in 2015, it publishes in English and pays Americans to write articles. But multiple investigations by American tech companies, details of which have not previously been reported, point to the site originating in Iran.”

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.”