“Facebook’s fact checkers have ruled claims in Trump ads are false — but no one is telling Facebook’s users”

WaPo: Fact checkers were unanimous in their assessments when President Trump began claiming in June that Democrat Joe Biden wanted to “defund” police forces. Politifact called the allegations “false,” as did CheckYourFact. The Associated Press detailed “distortions” in Trump’s claims. FactCheck.org called an ad airing them “deceptive.” Another site, The Dispatch, said there … Continue reading

Share

“Newsroom or PAC? Liberal group muddies online information wars”

Politico: The articles and Facebook ad dollars look like the efforts of a run-of-the-mill political group. But they are actually from a news outlet: CourierNewsroom.com, also known as Courier, which was created and funded by the Democratic-aligned digital organization Acronym. … Continue reading

Share

“The QAnon Candidates Are Here. Trump Has Paved Their Way. The conspiracy theorists accuse Democrats and even fellow Republicans of being beholden to a cabal of bureaucrats, pedophiles and Satanists. President Trump has cheered them on.”

NYT: A Republican Senate candidate recently declared herself “one of the thousands of digital soldiers” in service of QAnon, a convoluted pro-Trump conspiracy theory about a “deep state” of child-molesting Satanist traitors plotting against the president. A congressional candidate in Colorado who made … Continue reading

Share

July 9 Zoom Event: “Pandemic Propaganda: A New Electoral Crisis”

Details: TopicPandemic Propaganda: A New Electoral CrisisDescriptionHow will the misinformation pandemic inflamed by the coronavirus crisis reshape the political landscape? And how might domestic and foreign actors weaponize rumors, conspiracy theories, and disinformation about Covid-19 against American voters in the … Continue reading

Share

Greg Sargent: “Why Facebook probably won’t police Trump’s lies about voting”

Important piece: Under pressure to combat the disinformation that politicians — most notably the president of the United States — are spreading on its platforms, Facebook recently announced a new effort to combat lies geared in particular toward misleading Americans about voting.Disinformation … Continue reading

Share

“The Technology 202: Mark Zuckerberg spoke with civil rights leaders about Trump’s posts. It didn’t go well.”

WaPo: Top Facebook executives, including Mark Zuckerberg, spoke with civil rights leaders last night as the company confronts a wave of backlash over its decision not to moderate President Trump’s controversial posts. But the roughly hour-long call, intended to show the … Continue reading

Share

“Trump Prepares Order to Limit Social Media Companies’ Protections; The move is almost certain to face a court challenge and signals the latest salvo by President Trump to crack down on online platforms.”

NYT: The Trump administration is preparing an executive order intended to curtail the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for what gets posted on their platforms, two senior administration officials said early Thursday.Such an order, which officials … Continue reading

Share

“Facebook Executives Shut Down Efforts to Make the Site Less Divisive; The social-media giant internally studied how it polarizes users, then largely shelved the research”

WSJ: A Facebook Inc. team had a blunt message for senior executives. The company’s algorithms weren’t bringing people together. They were driving people apart.“Our algorithms exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness,” read a slide from a 2018 presentation. “If left unchecked,” it … Continue reading

Share

St. Louis Law University Journal Publishes Election Law Symposium Issue, Including My Keynote Childress Lecture, ” Deep Fakes, Bots, and Siloed Justices: American Election Law in a ‘Post-Truth’ World”

Very excited about this, and grateful to Dan Blair, Chad Flanders and the folks at St. Louis U. that made this happen: Childress Lecture Deep Fakes, Bots, and Siloed Justices: American Election Law in a “Post-Truth” WorldRichard L. Hasen Truth, … Continue reading

Share

“Protecting Elections from Disinformation: A Multifaceted Public-Private Approach to Social Media and Democratic Speech”

Yasmin Dawood has posted this draft on SSRN (forthcoming, Ohio State Technology Law Journal). Here is the abstract: This Article argues for a multifaceted public-private approach to the challenge of protecting the electoral process from the harms of disinformation. Such … Continue reading

Share

“Want to Find a Misinformed Public? Facebook’s Already Done It; While vowing to police COVID-19 misinformation on its platform, Facebook let advertisers target users interested in ‘pseudoscience'”

The Markup: Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote a post pledging to combat misinformation about COVID-19 circulating on Facebook.“We’ve taken down hundreds of thousands of pieces of misinformation related to COVID-19, including theories like drinking bleach cures the virus or that … Continue reading

Share

“Zuckerberg says stay-at-home protests organized through Facebook qualify as ‘harmful misinformation'”

The Hill: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that protests against stay-at-home orders organized through his social media site qualify as “harmful misinformation” and are taken down.“How do you deal with the fact that Facebook is now being used to organize a … Continue reading

Share

“New report: Digital Disaster — The failures of Facebook, Google, and Twitter’s political ad transparency policies”

Issue One: Issue One’s latest report, “Digital Disaster: The failures of Facebook, Google, and Twitter’s political ad transparency policies,” reveals how piecemeal, voluntary approaches by the largest social media platforms to stop disinformation campaigns fail to protect our political system from foreign … Continue reading

Share

“‘Deep fake’ videos could upend an election — but Silicon Valley may have a way to combat them”

LAT:  Election officials and social media firms already flummoxed by hackers, trolls and bots are bracing for a potentially more potent weapon of disinformation as the 2020 election approaches — doctored videos, known as “deep fakes,” that can be nearly impossible to … Continue reading

Share