Washington Post: Inside Facebook and Twitter’s secret meetings with Trump aides and conservative leaders who say tech is biased. “Twitter and Facebook are scrambling to assuage conservative leaders who have sounded alarms — and sought to rile voters — with accusations that the country’s tech giants are censoring right-leaning posts, tweets and news. From secret dinners with conservative media elite to private meetings with the Republican National Committee, the new outreach reflects tech giants’ delicate task: satisfying a party in power while defending online platforms against attacks that threaten to undermine the public’s trust in the Web.”
Fast Company: Find out if your coworkers or company gave money to Trump or Hillary. “Zippia just released a fun new tool that will help you while away the hours in your cubicle. They released a website that helps you figure out the favorite political parties of your favorite companies. For example, Apple and Walmart employees have both made big donations, but to opposing parties, proving that politics’ favorite color is not red or blue, but green.” It’s kind of weird; I put in some larger company names and this site had no data on political donations, but then I put in JBC Inc of Plano, Texas (which I’m sure is a lovely company but is small in comparison to, say, Monster Energy), and a ton of information pops up.
Mercury News: Trump supporters share the most fake news: study. “The people who share the most fake news tend to lean right politically — and many of them support President Trump, a new study has found. University of Oxford researchers looked at who shared what on Facebook and Twitter in the three months before President Trump’s State of the Union address and found that Trump supporters shared the most misleading information more than the other groups in the study.” The article did not mention if the researchers made sure that the 14K+ Twitter users they studied were real as opposed to astroturfing bots.
CNET: For Congress members, divisive news is a hit on Facebook. “For Congress members, widening the political gap appears to lead to success on Facebook. People on Facebook shared and liked posts from politicians more often if they contained links to national news outlets on the most liberal or most conservative ends of the political spectrum, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.”
FiveThirtyEight: Political Twitter Is No Place For Moderates. “Twitter has never been a bastion of the Queen’s English, but recent reporting has unearthed a variety of polarizing posts about American politics that are presumed to be of Russian origin, in part because some of them use awkward English. The revelations have led to recriminations against the tech platform and an invitation for the company to testify before Congress this week. The Russians might have occasionally gotten their words mangled, but they were right when it came to mimicking their targets, attacking from both the right and the left. It turns out that American Twitter users who tweet about politics overwhelmingly come from the extremes of the political spectrum as well.”
ZDNet: Republican polling firm’s database was hacked, exposing donor records. “A Republican phone polling firm has been hacked, exposing data on hundreds of thousands of Americans who submitted donations to political campaigns, ZDNet has learned. Several database files, one of which totaled 223 gigabytes in size and amountied to about two billion lines of data, was stolen in January from Victory Phones, a Grand Rapids, MI-based automated phone research and data compilation firm.”
BuzzFeed: Inside The Partisan Fight For Your News Feed. “The most comprehensive study to date of the growing universe of partisan websites and Facebook pages about US politics reveals that in 2016 alone at least 187 new websites launched, and that the candidacy and election of Donald Trump has unleashed a golden age of aggressive, divisive political content that reaches a massive amount of people on Facebook.”