Rolling Stone: Extremists Shared TikTok Videos on How to Access White House via Tunnels, Feds Say

Rolling Stone: Extremists Shared TikTok Videos on How to Access White House via Tunnels, Feds Say. “Domestic extremists used TikTok, an app best known for short videos and viral dances, to spread information about bringing guns to the January 6th Capitol attack and accessing the White House through tunnels, according to a Homeland Security briefing.”

Washington Post: Facebook keeps researching its own harms — and burying the findings

Washington Post: Facebook keeps researching its own harms — and burying the findings. “While the stories are noteworthy in themselves, their provenance points to a deeper issue at Facebook. It is that the world’s largest social network employs teams of people to study its own ugly underbelly, only to ignore, downplay and suppress the results of their research when it proves awkward or troubling. Why it would do such a thing is a question whose answer lies at least partly in the company’s culture and organizational structure…. Facebook routes weighty decisions about content policy through some of the same executives tasked with government lobbying and public relations — an arrangement that critics say creates a conflict of interest. Often, they seem to prioritize public perception over transparency.

CNET: Facebook tackles harmful authentic accounts with new approach

CNET: Facebook tackles harmful authentic accounts with new approach. “Facebook’s security team routinely takes action against fake accounts that mislead others about their purpose and identity. That team is now going to crack down on groups that attempt to use real accounts to evade enforcement and spread harm. The tech company might reduce the reach of content from these accounts or pull down these authentic accounts, Pages and Groups.” I’m including news like this because Facebook is so large that even what it says it’s going to do makes an impact. But I no longer believe that Facebook is operating with good intentions, and I do not believe it will make any serious effort to limit disinformation on its platform.

Senator Richard Blumenthal: Blumenthal & Blackburn Announce Probe Into Facebook Coverup of its Platforms’ Negative Impact on Teens & Children

Senator Richard Blumethal: Blumenthal & Blackburn Announce Probe Into Facebook Coverup of its Platforms’ Negative Impact on Teens & Children. “‘When given the opportunity to come clean to us about their knowledge of Instagram’s impact on young users, Facebook provided evasive answers that were misleading and covered up clear evidence of significant harm. We are in touch with a Facebook whistleblower and will use every resource at our disposal to investigate what Facebook knew and when they knew it – including seeking further documents and pursuing witness testimony. The Wall Street Journal’s blockbuster reporting may only be the tip of the iceberg.’”

ScienceNordic: What our online lives can tell us about how much we value nature

ScienceNordic: What our online lives can tell us about how much we value nature. “For the past eight years, several research groups, including ours, have spent a lot of time understanding whether we can eavesdrop on social media posts to figure out where and when people interact with nature. It turns out that we can. We tend to take photos and describe the part of our nature experiences that mattered. So suddenly our online lives is opening the possibility to figure out, at a global scale, where people go to experience nature and what it is they are actually enjoying when doing so.”

Wired: In Kenya, Influencers Are Hired to Spread Disinformation

Wired: In Kenya, Influencers Are Hired to Spread Disinformation. “ON MAY 18 of this year, the insidious hashtag #AnarchistJudges appeared on Kenyan Twitter timelines. Apparently driven by a number of faceless bots, and retweeted by a series of sock puppet accounts, the deluge of tweets cast suspicion on both the competence and integrity of senior High Court of Kenya judges that had just shot down the Constitutional Amendments Bill of 2021. Many falsely claimed the judges were involved in narcotics dealings, bribery, and political partisanship. It quickly became one of the country’s top trending topics. Such malicious, coordinated disinformation attacks are rapidly growing in Kenya, my Mozilla Foundation colleague Brian Obilo and I have found in a new investigation.”

Wall Street Journal: Facebook Tried to Make Its Platform a Healthier Place. It Got Angrier Instead.

Wall Street Journal: Facebook Tried to Make Its Platform a Healthier Place. It Got Angrier Instead.. “Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said the aim of the algorithm change was to strengthen bonds between users and to improve their well-being…. Within the company, though, staffers warned the change was having the opposite effect, the documents show. It was making Facebook’s platform an angrier place. Company researchers discovered that publishers and political parties were reorienting their posts toward outrage and sensationalism. That tactic produced high levels of comments and reactions that translated into success on Facebook.”

Atlas Obscura: How to Buy Pink Pineapples and Fruitcake Off Etsy

Atlas Obscura: How to Buy Pink Pineapples and Fruitcake Off Etsy. “Both social media and e-commerce sites, from Etsy to Instagram, host vibrant communities of food vendors and cooks-for-hire. Sure, you can buy a 40-pack of gummy bears on Amazon, or schedule a Whole Foods delivery. But can you buy fresh ice-cream beans shipped from the tropical fruit paradise that is Florida? Can you buy cornmeal cookies and juniper ash from a Native American company in Arizona? A wide world of hyper-local food exists online, sandwiched between advertisements and yard-sale listings.”

TechCrunch: TikTok expands mental health resources, as negative reports of Instagram’s effect on teens leak

TechCrunch: TikTok expands mental health resources, as negative reports of Instagram’s effect on teens leak. “TikTok announced this morning that it is implementing new tactics to educate its users about the negative mental health impacts of social media. As part of these changes, TikTok is rolling out a ‘well-being guide’ in its Safety Center, a brief primer on eating disorders, expanded search interventions and opt-in viewing screens on potentially triggering searches.”

CBC: 107-year-old social media sensation remembered for attending virtual mass in every Irish county

CBC: 107-year-old social media sensation remembered for attending virtual mass in every Irish county. “Nancy Stewart was disappointed when COVID-19 restrictions kept her from attending mass, so she started attending online services. But she didn’t limit her attendance to her local church. Instead, she went to mass in all of Ireland’s 32 counties, as well as in places including Rome, New York and London — and her online fans followed her on her journey. Stewart, who was referred to by many as Granny Nancy, died in her home Friday. She was 107 and was among the oldest people in Ireland.”

Scientific American: Mining Social Media Reveals Mental Health Trends and Helps Prevent Self-Harm

Scientific American: Mining Social Media Reveals Mental Health Trends and Helps Prevent Self-Harm. “Globally, more than four billion people use social media, generating huge stores of data from their devices. That information can be used in tracking more than just what they buy, their political leanings or the patterns of social media usage during the pandemic. It can also be channeled to help better detect mental illness and improve well-being. A growing number of studies show that language patterns and images in posts can reveal and predict mental health conditions for individuals and also evaluate mental health trends across entire populations.”

London School of Economics: How to stop the spread of conspiracy theories and build societal resilience against fake news

London School of Economics: How to stop the spread of conspiracy theories and build societal resilience against fake news. “The pandemic and associated lockdowns have given rise to an acceleration in ‘fake news’ around the world over the last year. The phenomenon of mis- and disinformation takes root, evolves and proliferates and can cause real world harm. In this blog post, Pratik Dattani, of consulting group Economic Policy Group, delves deeper into how public paranoia helps conspiracy theories to turn viral through narrative localisation, and explores the measures that law enforcement officers can take to prevent the spread of fake news.”

Loughborough University: New animation aims to help people with eating disorders safely navigate social media

Loughborough University: New animation aims to help people with eating disorders safely navigate social media. “Researchers from Loughborough University have teamed up with UK charity Beat to create an animated video that explores how social media affects people with an eating disorder. The short film, released today (Monday 13 September), looks at how social media can be both harmful and helpful, and provides useful advice for those being negatively affected by what they see online and to support recovery.”