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Fox Business

Facebook seeks shutdown of NYU research into political ad targeting

In letter this month, Facebook says the project violates provisions in its terms of service that prohibit bulk data collection

Stressing freedom, vaccine opponents rebranding in virus era

Years before this year’s anti-mask and reopening demonstrations, vaccine opponents were working on reinventing their image around a rallying cry of civil liberties and medical freedom.
Nieman Lab

Overwhelmed by covering organized misinformation campaigns? The Media Manipulation Casebook is a great place to start

For journalists in 2020, some of the biggest hurdles in getting factual, corroborated information to news consumers are getting to them before the misinformation does or correcting the false information they’ve previously consumed.

Fact Checking and Reporting the Online Campaign

The George Washington University’s Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics hosted a virtual event on digital media’s impact on politics. The panel discussed the importance of fact checking in today’s political climate, the impact of misinformation, and the need to teach media literacy in schools.

Communities of Color and Distrust of Medical Professionals

The George Washington University’s Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics hosted a virtual event on digital media’s impact on communities of color during the coronavirus pandemic. This panel discussed the history of distrust in medical professional in communities of color and disinformation’s impact on those communities.
Washington Post

Inside the ‘Malarkey Factory,’ Biden’s online war room

Joe Biden’s campaign has quietly built a multimillion-dollar operation over the past two months that’s largely designed to combat misinformation online, aiming to rebut President Trump while bracing for any information warfare that could take place in the aftermath of the election.
New York Post

Scientists worry as more Americans say they’ll refuse COVID-19 vaccine

A Pew Research poll from late September showed that about half of US adults (51 percent) wouldn’t get a COVID-19 vaccine if it was available today — a big drop from the 72 percent who said they’d get one back in May.

Twitter, Facebook face backlash over banned story

PBS’ “The Day’’ spoke to Ethan Porter, assistant professor of media and public affairs, about stopping the spread of misinformation on social media.
Tech Crunch

We need universal digital ad transparency now

15 researchers propose a new standard for advertising disclosures

As QAnon Conspiracy Theories Draw New Believers, Scientists Take Aim at Misinformation Pandemic

The first three "nodes" of the conspiracy-theory network known as QAnon arose in 2018 in the persons of founders Tracy Diaz, Paul Furber and Coleman Rogers. They had figured out how to profit from promoting the posts of "Q," a mysterious figure claiming to have inside information on a mass arrest, undertaken with the blessing of Donald Trump, that nabbed Hillary Clinton and others for running a pedophile ring.

Facebook bans anti-vaccination ads but not antivax posts

Facebook says it will ban ads on its platform that discourage vaccinations — with an exception carved out for advocacy ads about government vaccine policies. The company already bans ads about vaccine “hoaxes,” such as the false idea that vaccinations cause autism. The latest policy expands the ban to ads that discourage vaccines for any reason.
USA Today

Fact check: False claim that Pelosi drunk in 2016 photo with Obama

Social media users are sharing a viral image of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and then-President Barack Obama claiming the speaker was intoxicated in the photo.

As false info hits 'boiling point,' ads warn US voters

Verify before you share. Falsehoods spread faster than facts. This is part of the advice given in a series of fast-paced, colorful and straight-talking public service announcements that aim to arm voters against false information about this year's US presidential election, including efforts by Donald Trump to raise fears of a rigged vote.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Protest Movement Is Far Ahead of the Vaccine Itself

Extremism, instability, and a contorted new definition of “civil liberties” have fed into a global anti-vax movement at the worst possible time.
U.S. News & World Report

'Anti-Vaxx' Movement Shifts Focus to Civil Liberties

Facebook chatter from the anti-vaccination movement now frames the issue as one of civil liberties, a new study finds.
Washington Post

The pandemic is amplifying the U.S. anti-vaccine movement — and globalizing it

The coronavirus crisis is energizing America’s anti-vaccine movement and expanding its reach. Even as countries and companies race to develop a safe and effective vaccine, U.S. activists and influencers are working to undermine it, seizing on the legitimate fear that the vaccine might be rushed and leveraging that to further a broader anti-vaccine — even anti-science — agenda.

How Pinterest beat back vaccine misinformation — and what Facebook could learn from its approach

The battle over misinformation amid the Covid-19 pandemic has pitted health experts, parts of the public, and the leaders of online platforms against one another.
The Boston Globe

Russia’s not so little election helpers

Without decades of organized efforts by a lavishly funded movement of self-proclaimed patriots, the disruptive efforts of Russians and other foreign elements would have failed.
The Hill

Biden faces calls to be more active with media

Democrats are criticizing Joe Biden for doing the bare minimum of media interviews, worried that the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee is repeating a mistake made by 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The Economist

QAnon conspiracy theorists could prove awkward for Republicans

Unit recently, most people asked to identify “Q” would mention an eccentric inventor of gadgets for James Bond. Now a nastier, if equally fictitious, Q is becoming better known. Digital searches surged this month among people who hoped to unpick the meaning of “QAnon”—an anti-Semitic and incoherent conspiracy theory. It has been spun for three years in cryptic messages posted by Q, posing as a senior government official.
Morning Consult

Public Interest in Tech Scrutiny From Presidential Candidates Has Grown Since Last Year

45% of adults say presidential candidates should be more critical of the tech industry

Liberal, educated... and anti-vaxxer: pandemic births new vaccine doubters

The rapid speed at which vaccines are being developed and the political pressure from the White House to have one ready by November are turning more and more Americans into skeptics. Experts warn that this caginess about the vaccine could have long-term implications.
Financial Times logo

Why is the ‘anti-vaxxer’ movement growing during a worldwide pandemic?

Greer McVay insists she is “not an anti-vaxxer — not at all”. She is up to date with her own immunisations and had her son vaccinated when he was a child. But she fears the development of a vaccine for coronavirus is being dangerously rushed, in part to improve Donald Trump’s prospects ahead of the presidential election in November.
Washington Post logo

Trump praises baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, says he appreciates support of its followers

President Trump gave a major boost to the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, saying Wednesday that he appreciated the support of its followers, calling them “people that love our country.”

Facebook bans some, but not all, QAnon groups and accounts

Facebook said it will restrict the right-wing conspiracy movement QAnon and will no longer recommend that users join groups supporting it, although the company isn’t banning it outright.
CNN logo

Vaccines are safe. But huge numbers of people around the world say they wouldn't take a Covid jab

Neil Johnson, a physicist at George Washington University who is studying vaccine skepticism on social media, told CNN the four most common objections are: safety; whether a vaccine is needed; trust of the establishment and pharmaceutical companies; and perceived uncertainty in the science.
Newsweek logo

Anti-Vax Posts Against Future COVID-19 Vaccine Steadily Increasing on Social Media, Researchers Warn

Misinformation about a vaccine linked to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is "steadily rising" on social media, experts say.
Washington Post logo

QAnon supporter, with Georgia primary victory, is poised to bring far-right conspiracy theory to Congress

Congressional Republicans came a step closer Tuesday to welcoming into their ranks a promoter of the QAnon conspiracy theory, whose adherents believe President Trump is battling a cabal of “deep state” saboteurs who worship Satan and traffic children for sex.
Vox logo

What women in Congress want from Facebook

About 100 female lawmakers from across the world have sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg demanding that the company do a better job combating misogyny on its platform, especially hateful content directed at female public figures.
NBC News logo

House Democrats to Facebook: 'Do more' about harassment and hate targeting women

More than 30 House Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have signed a letter asking Facebook executives Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to address hate speech targeting women — particularly for women candidates and political leaders.
Axios logo

Female members of Congress to Facebook: Do better

Facebook must do better to protect women in politics, who face a barrage of sexism, hate and harassment on the platform, members of the Democratic Women Caucus including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote to the social network Thursday.
Washington Post logo

The Technology 202: Microsoft's possible acquisition of TikTok could also bring increased Washington scrutiny

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) will lead a letter to Facebook asking chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg to take concrete steps to enforce the company's policies against hate speech.
Washington Post logo

Biden’s VP should be prepared for an onslaught of online misogyny unlike anything seen before

A poll to be released Thursday, August 6 at a forum on hate speech and misogyny on social media being hosted by the Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics, found that Americans are growing more aware and sophisticated about the prevalence and source of the toxicity they scroll through every day.
Politifact logo

Why false claims about Nancy Pelosi being drunk keep going viral — even though she doesn’t drink

As a partisan fight over the White House coronavirus task force continues to play out in Washington, an altered video that makes it look like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is drunk has gone viral on Facebook.
STAT logo

‘It’s like you injected adrenaline into them’: Facebook’s vaccine misinformation problem faces a new test with Covid-19

As scientists begin to clear a path to a potential coronavirus vaccine, researchers and advocates are increasingly sounding the alarm over what they see as a looming threat: Facebook’s apparent inability to police dangerous falsehoods about vaccines.
USA Today logo

Was your Uber, Lyft fare high because of algorithm bias?

Requesting an Uber or Lyft to a lower-income community? That could cost you – in fact, the algorithms they use may be biased against you, or at least your travel plans. This is according to a study by George Washington University published last month.

Star of Trump’s 2016 Digital Strategy Fades in Changed World

Now the Trump campaign is in a deep slump, for reasons that have less to do with campaign tactics and more to do with the president’s performance on the coronavirus. “I think the shake-up is to be expected. Indeed, the only surprise here is that it has taken this long,” said Steven Livingston, the founding director at the Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics at George Washington University.
Fox Baltimore logo

Researchers race to make COVID vaccine - but will people take it?

Right now, medical companies are furiously working to create a Coronavirus vaccine. But will people take it?
Science Magazine logo

Just 50% of Americans plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s how to win over the rest

Within days of the first confirmed novel coronavirus case in the United States on 20 January, antivaccine activists were already hinting on Twitter that the virus was a scam—part of a plot to profit from an eventual vaccine.
Washington Post logo

The Cybersecurity 202: Commission's plan to avert devastating cyberattack faces uphill battle, 9/11-era officials say

Democrats say Facebook's guards against election disinformation don't go far enough to protect voting by mail.
ABC News logo

Adam Schiff accuses social media companies of misinformation negligence

Schiff was speaking as part of a forum on the consequences of digital platforms’ “misinformation negligence” hosted by George Washington University’s Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics (IDDP). Monday’s forum was focused on misinformation that misleads voters and hurts election integrity.
C-SPAN logo

Forum on Disinformation and Election Interference

The George Washington Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics holds a forum on election interference and social media’s role in spreading disinformation, and inflaming racial divisions.
rfi logo

Anti-vaxxers seize virus moment to spread fake news

The vaccine will inject you with an electronic chip, poison you, make you sick, they say. There's no vaccine yet for treating the novel coronavirus, and scientists are multiplying efforts to find one.
Newsweek logo

Climate Change Deniers Exploit Facebook Loophole to Spread Fake Science

Climate change deniers have spread misleading content on Facebook, exploiting a loophole offering exemptions for opinion content.
salon logo

Uber, Lyft algorithms charged users more for trips to non-white neighborhoods: study

A recent study suggests that the algorithm used by popular ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft may actually discriminate against customers seeking transportation in predominantly non-white neighborhoods.
CNN logo

Justice Department wants to upend Silicon Valley's legal shield

"We should question whether companies that serve as increasingly essential communication networks should have business models that profit from this harmful content in the first place," he said during a virtual event Tuesday hosted by George Washington University.
Fox News logo

Pelosi pours $180K into Facebook ads while calling for advertisers to boycott site

"Advertisers are in a position, they have power to discourage platforms from amplifying dangerous and even life-threatening disinformation," said Pelosi at an online conference on social media hosted by George Washington University on Tuesday.
Nature logo

How Facebook, Twitter and other data troves are revolutionizing social science

Over the past decade, researchers have used such techniques to pick apart topics that social scientists have chased for more than a century: from the psychological underpinnings of human morality, to the influence of misinformation, to the factors that make some artists more successful than others.
Washington Post logo

The Technology 202: Apple in the antitrust spotlight as coronavirus pandemic boosts mobile payments

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) encouraged advertisers to discourage platforms from amplifying violent content and misinformation at a forum on coronavirus misinformation yesterday, the Hill reports. She wants them to withdraw their ads and also mount a public pressure campaign. “Advertisers are in a position — they have power — to discourage platforms from amplifying dangerous and even life-threatening disinformation,” Pelosi said during a George Washington University forum focused on misinformation.
Washington Post logo

Prosecutors claim that a ‘boogaloo’ killed two cops. What’s a boogaloo?

The boogaloo movement is associated with a distinctive look and discordant politics. In April, boogaloos appeared at protests in Hawaiian shirts and light infantry attire accessorized with surfing and white-nationalist paraphernalia as well as semiautomatic rifles. Yet the boogaloos first appeared online.
ABC News logo

Social media platforms are profiting from COVID-19 misinformation: Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi cited bogus COVID-19 cures and other health-related scams as examples of life-threatening misinformation on social media. The California lawmaker was speaking as part of a forum on the consequences of digital platforms’ “misinformation negligence” hosted by George Washington University’s Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics (IDDP).
C-SPAN logo

Online Scams and COVID-19

George Washington University’s Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics (IDDP) held a forum on scams, profiteering and conspiracy theories during the coronavirus pandemic.
C-SPAN logo

Online Disinformation and COVID-19

George Washington University’s Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics (IDDP) held a forum on disinformation during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Hill logo

Pelosi calls on advertisers to pressure social media platforms over misinformation

"Advertisers are in a position — they have power — to discourage platforms for amplifying dangerous and even life threatening disinformation," Pelosi said during a George Washington University forum focused on misinformation about the coronavirus on social media.
CNBC logo

Pelosi says advertisers should use their ‘tremendous leverage’ to force social media companies to stop spreading false and dangerous information

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., encouraged companies that advertise on social media to use their “tremendous leverage” to push platforms to crack down on disinformation. “Know your power,” Pelosi said at an online forum about Covid-19 and social media disinformation hosted by George Washington University on Tuesday.
Politico logo

Pelosi, Cicilline to take aim at social media

Top Democratic lawmakers are expected to tear into social media companies’ efforts to combat online disinformation at a George Washington University virtual forum today focused in part on misleading Covid-19 news.

Lawmakers, Doctors Host COVID-19 Social Media Disinformation Forum

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, as well as other lawmakers and doctors, took part in a virtual conference hosted by George Washington University to discuss the spread of misinformation about COVID-19 on social media.
Venture Beat logo

Researchers find racial discrimination in ‘dynamic pricing’ algorithms used by Uber, Lyft, and others

A preprint study published by researchers at George Washington University presents evidence of social bias in the algorithms ride-sharing startups like Uber, Lyft, and Via use to price fares.
Forbes logo

Trump needs Twitter. Twitter needs Trump. Who needs who more?

The clash between President Trump and Twitter reached new heights over the past few days. Twitter started to more rigorously police Trump’s posts, while Trump tried to weaken legal protections that shield social media companies like Twitter from liability for what their users post.
Insider logo

A map of anti-vaxxer Facebook users shows how they're better targeting neutral parties in the dangerous war against vaccine supporters on social media, according to a new study

Anti-vaxxers have been waging a campaign against vaccines on social media for years, but now that we're in a global pandemic and a vaccine is likely the only way out, the possible effects of these efforts are far more serious. A lot of misinformation has been spread about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, since this pandemic began, often by bots, and it appears a lot of people believe what they're seeing on social media.

Trump signs order on social media companies

KAET-PBS, Phoenix, spoke to Ethan Porter, assistant professor of media and public affairs regarding President Trump's recent executive order.
Washington Post logo

Trump campaign is creating an alternate reality online about coronavirus

The Trump administration’s mishandling of key moments in the novel coronavirus outbreak has been well documented. Early travel restrictions from China and Europe were meant to buy time, but inaction or poor planning squandered much of the benefit. Delays in testing allowed the virus to spread across the country largely undetected. A shortage of personal protective equipment while cases surged overwhelmed hospitals and health-care workers. The president promoted unproven, and sometimes dangerous, medical approaches to fighting the disease, in some cases with potentially deadly consequences. He misrepresented how quickly a vaccine will be available.
ABC News Cleveland logo

Misinformation, conspiracy theories run rampant online during COVID-19 pandemic

From 5G cell towers to billionaire Bill Gates, conspiracy theories and misinformation have run rampant during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it is hardly a new phenomenon, in the instant information age, the issue of widely-disseminated false or misleading information on social media has certainly gotten worse, media experts and researchers said.
Nature logo

The epic battle against coronavirus misinformation and conspiracy theories

In the first few months of 2020, wild conspiracy theories about Bill Gates and the new coronavirus began sprouting online. Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist who has funded efforts to control the virus with treatments, vaccines and technology, had himself created the virus, argued one theory. He had patented it, said another. He’d use vaccines to control people, declared a third. The false claims quietly proliferated among groups predisposed to spread the message — people opposed to vaccines, globalization or the privacy infringements enabled by technology. Then one went mainstream.
Yahoo logo

Twitter-Trump clash intensifies political misinformation battle

President Donald Trump's threat to shut down social media companies after Twitter labeled two of his tweets misleading sets up a fresh challenge for platforms as they struggle to deal with political misinformation during a toxic election campaign.
Forbes logo

Will Twitter ever remove one of Trump’s inflammatory tweets?

For the first time, Twitter has added a fact-check label to a tweet by President Donald Trump that claimed mail-in election ballots would be fraudulent. But it stopped short of removing those tweets or others he posted earlier this month about a false murder accusation that generated huge criticism against the company for failing to remove them.
Politifact logo

The week in fact-checking: the pandemic election, Trump's weight

Politifact Editor-in-Chief Angie Holan mentioned our joint event Presidential Communications in a Time of Crisis in her roundup "The Week in Fact-checking."

The Information Apocalypse Is Already Here, And Reality Is Losing

We’ve spent more than three years preparing for an information apocalypse. Why couldn’t we stop it with the coronavirus?
Washington Post logo

Ukraine’s citizens worry about covid-19. And they still have to worry about the war.

To learn how Ukrainians prioritize these concerns against battling the pandemic, researchers partnered with the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) as part of our international and multi-university project on Identity and Borders in Flux: The Case of Ukraine. KIIS included a series of our questions in their April 22-24 telephone “omnibus” tracking survey of a nationally representative sample of 2,024 adult residents of Ukraine.
The Atlantic logo

We Don’t Even Have a COVID-19 Vaccine, and Yet the Conspiracies Are Here

Even as vaccines for the disease are being held up as the last hope for a return to normalcy, misinformation about them is spreading.
Knight Foundation logo

Study shows how misinformation spreads online and fuels distrust

A recent study by physicist and Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics affiliate Neil Johnson explores how the views of anti-vaccine groups tend to spread more widely on social media than pro-vaccination views, increasing the chances of reaching people who are undecided on the subject. Professor Johnson’s model predicts continued growth of anti-vaccine sentiment on Facebook and other social networks, which could affect how widely a COVID-19 vaccination is embraced.
Time logo

There Isn't a COVID-19 Vaccine Yet. But Some Are Already Skeptical About It

Amid the American flags, “Make America Great Again” hats and “freedom is essential” posters appearing at recent protests against coronavirus lockdowns in Sacramento, Calif., another familiar slogan has materialized: “We do not consent.” It’s long been a popular rallying cry among antivaccine activists, who claim without evidence that vaccines cause autism or other conditions. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, those activists have become intertwined with demonstrators who want businesses to reopen despite public health experts’ warnings.
CNN logo

Social media rules. That's bad in a pandemic

Popular social media posts are filled with inaccuracies about science. They could damage public health during this coronavirus pandemic, the authors of two separate studies say.
ars Technica logo

The COVID-19 misinformation crisis is just beginning, but there is hope

Last year, the United States reported the greatest number of measles cases since 1992. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 1,282 individual cases of measles in 31 states in 2019, and the majority were among people who were not vaccinated against measles. It was yet another example of how the proliferation of anti-vaccine messaging has put public health at risk, and the COVID-19 pandemic is only intensifying the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories.
Wired logo

Why Is Facebook So Afraid of Checking Facts?

A video laden with falsehoods about Covid-19 emerged on Facebook last week, and has now been viewed many millions of times. The company has taken steps to minimize the video’s reach; but its fact-checks, in particular, appear to have been applied with a curious—if not dangerous—reticence. The reason for that reticence should alarm you: It seems that the biggest social network in the world is, at least in part, basing its response to pandemic-related misinformation on a misreading of the academic literature.
Cosmos Magazine logo

Mapping online distrust in health expertise

A recent study by physicist and Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics affiliate Neil Johnson explores how the views of anti-vaccine groups tend to spread more widely on social media than pro-vaccination views, increasing the chances of reaching people who are undecided on the subject. Professor Johnson’s model predicts continued growth of anti-vaccine sentiment on Facebook and other social networks, which could affect how widely a COVID-19 vaccination is embraced.
NPR logo

A New Study Explores The Spread Of Misinformation About Coronavirus On Facebook

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Neil Johnson, a professor of physics at George Washington University, about his study on the spread of scientific misinformation about the coronavirus and its effects.
Discover Magazine logo

Anti-Vaxxers’ Social Networks are Ripe With People Susceptible to Their Misinformation

When physicist Neil Johnson moved to Maryland in 2018 to take a job at George Washington University (GW), he looked online to see what medical requirements his son would have to meet before entering high school. He quickly stumbled upon many parents having online conversations about tactics they could use to get out of vaccinations — something that had never crossed his mind.
Inverse logo

COVID-19 is a “perfect storm” for conspiracy theories, finds new study that shocked scientists

Considering the 2020 pandemic, you might forget 2019 had its own public health disaster. There were two outbreaks of measles in Washington State last year, bolstered by an anti-vaccination sentiment that festered online.
U.S. News & World Report logo

Why Anti-Vaxxers Often Win Out on Facebook

Groups that spread vaccine misinformation on social media have more impact than government health agencies and other expert organizations on undecided people, a new study finds.
Newsweek logo

The anti-vaxxers are winning the battle on Facebook

Anti-vaccination Facebook Pages are currently better at attracting undecided users to their cause than pro-science counterparts, researchers have found.
Science Magazine logo

Vaccine opponents are gaining in Facebook ‘battle for hearts and minds,’ new map shows

A first-of-its-kind analysis of more than 1300 Facebook pages with nearly 100 million followers has produced a network map that’s alarming public health professionals. Antivaccine pages have fewer followers than pro-vaccine pages but are more numerous, faster growing, and increasingly more connected to undecided pages, the study finds. If the current trends continue, the researchers predict, antivaccine views will dominate online discussion in 10 years—a time when a future vaccine against COVID-19 may be critical to public health.
Inside Science logo

Anti-Vaccine Messaging Is Well-Connected on Social Media

A new study further underscores the challenges of curbing misinformation, showing that efforts to promote accurate medical information about vaccines on Facebook are failing to reach wide audiences. If people were to resist taking a future coronavirus vaccine that's shown to be safe and effective, it could threaten the ability to corral the pandemic.
New York Times logo

Get Ready for a Vaccine Information War

Social media is already filling up with misinformation about a Covid-19 vaccine, months or years before one even exists.
Nature logo

Anti-vaccine movement could undermine efforts to end coronavirus pandemic, researchers warn

As scientists work to create a vaccine against COVID-19, a small but fervent anti-vaccination movement is marshalling against it. Campaigners are seeding outlandish narratives: they falsely say that coronavirus vaccines will be used to implant microchips into people, for instance, and falsely claim that a woman who took part in a UK vaccine trial died. In April, some carried placards with anti-vaccine slogans at rallies in California to protest against the lockdown. Last week, a now-deleted YouTube video promoting wild conspiracy theories about the pandemic and asserting (without evidence) that vaccines would “kill millions” received more than 8 million views.
NBC News logo

As '#Plandemic' goes viral, those targeted by discredited scientist's crusade warn of 'dangerous' claims

Initially pushed by anti-vaccination disinformation peddlers, the video was then promoted by minor celebrities.
Psychology Today logo

Make America Open Again: Grassroots Protest or Astroturfing?

What's really behind calls to open up the country and end the lockdown?
Washington Post logo

Groups sow doubt about COVID vaccine before one even exists

A coronavirus vaccine is still months or years away, but groups that peddle misinformation about immunizations are already taking aim, potentially eroding confidence in what could be humanity’s best chance to defeat the virus.
Buzzfeed logo

The Emails Promising Coronavirus-Protecting Masks Seemed Too Good To Be True. They Were.

Roughly a billion emails promoted overpriced face masks with misleading claims. The man selling them says it isn't his fault.
Time logo

Facebook Is Notifying Users Who Have Shared Coronavirus Misinformation. Could It Do the Same for Politics?

Hoping to stem the torrent of false cures and conspiracy theories about COVID-19, Facebook announced Thursday it would begin informing users globally who have liked, commented on, or shared “harmful” misinformation about the coronavirus, pointing them instead in the direction of a reliable source.
U.S. News & World Report

Tweets Show Americans Are Following COVID-19 Precautions

An analysis of Twitter data suggests that Americans are heeding social distancing and other safety recommendations during the coronavirus pandemic, researchers say.
Politico logo

Building a national surveillance system

A group of local researchers are hoping that policymakers will look to publicly available Twitter data for hints about whether people are respecting social distancing policies.
Wall Street Journal logo

Members of Sanders’s Online Army Ready to Fight On

Senator's web-based fans aggressively use Facebook to support their candidate, an many aren't ready to embrace Joe Biden.
Media File logo

Facebook Unveils Unprecedented ‘Supreme Court’ For Content Regulation

In recent years, Facebook has had to grapple with major content management issues: conspiracy theorists and politicians running false ads, as well as the dissemination of doctored videos. In response to these criticisms, the company has tried to regulate content based on its community standards, often being denounced for its decisions. Issues arise, Facebook responds—always imperfectly in the eyes of its critics—and outrage ensues.
Boston Globe logo

Donald Trump’s coronavirus advice just might kill us

Covid-19 is a threat not just to our health, but our democracy
Columbia Journalism Review logo

Twitter plans misinfo labels, but are they a good idea?

As part of its effort to deal with the spread of misinformation on its platform, Twitter is experimenting with adding colored labels that would appear directly beneath any inaccurate statements posted by politicians and other public figures, according to a leaked demo of new features sent recently to NBC.
Christian Science Monitor logo

Twitter isn’t real life. But for Sanders fans, it’s a powerful tool.

According to a Monitor analysis, supporters of Bernie Sanders are the most active and aggressive in their responses to other campaigns on Twitter. Many say it’s all in the service of a greater good.

How Trump's Facebook Ads Strategy Differs From Dem Candidates

Rebekah Tromble, George Washington University media professor and Jessica Alter, Tech for Campaigns co-founder discuss Trump's digital ad campaign on "Bloomberg Technology."
New York Times logo

The Audacity of Hate

Trump has a knack for turning anger and fear into political power. And for turning the volume up to 11.
phys.org logo

Researcher finds a mathematical pattern in human conflict using data science

A Columbian College of Arts and Sciences professor used computational modeling to prove that human conflicts throughout history have a hidden pattern—a breakthrough that came to him while watching his son play video games.
Discover Magazine logo

Meet the Physicist Predicting When Online Hate Will Turn to Real-World Violence

An analysis of such group dynamics, looking specifically for abrupt, exponential surges in membership growth, could provide warning signs of bad things to come.

The Delicate Art of Debunking Conspiracy Theories

Presenting believers with facts can make them angrier. But sometimes the evidence does change minds.
Washington Post logo

Why are Republicans using Putin’s talking points? This study helps explain.

Increasingly, Republican voters think Vladimir Putin is a good leader. But Russians don’t feel the same way about President Trump.
salon logo

Trump's smears of Biden have only started: Can the former veep fight back?

Turn the page on impeachment — but Trump's attacks will keep coming. Do they reveal that he fears Biden most?
New York Times logo

Trump’s Digital Advantage Is Freaking Out Democratic Strategists

Left and right agree on one point. The president’s re-election campaign is way ahead online.
Washington Post logo

Sanders supporters have weaponized Facebook to spread angry memes about his Democratic rivals

Users are using mass-posting technologies to flood Facebook with attacks on Elizabeth Warren and others
Politico logo

No, We’re Not Living in a Post-Fact World

When presented with facts, Americans generally become more accurate. The question is: Are they consuming enough of the right information?
Los Angeles Times logo

No #Bernieblackout here: Sanders rides a surge of alternative media

Sanders supporters loudly protest what they see as the major media’s failure to cover their favored candidate or to portray him as a serious contender for the nomination. The hashtag #Bernieblackout has become a major presence on social media.
Buzzfeed logo

NATO-Linked Researchers Bought Fake Social Media Engagements To Test How Facebook, Twitter, And Google Combat Manipulation. The Companies Failed.

A NATO affiliate carried out a four-month experiment into manipulation on social media websites. The findings are published in a major new report.
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The State of PolitiFact in 2019: A report to our readers

PolitiFact started as a politics news website in 2007, but these days, it feels more like a mission.
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A new Russian ad campaign mockingly suggested that parents opposed to vaccinations are afraid to give the potentially life-saving inoculations to their children out of concern they could be bitten by vampires.
Politifact logo

Here’s how to fact-check your family at the Thanksgiving dinner table

PolitiFact spoke to experts about how to best fact-check someone in person. Below are six tips (presented in order of deployment) to help you navigate politics during Thanksgiving.
Politifact logo

Disinformation targets Republicans who criticize Trump or support the impeachment inquiry

Mitt Romney and the few other Republican lawmakers who have spoken out against Trump lately have become the targets of disinformation on social media. False Facebook posts and tweets about federal and local lawmakers who broke the party line have been shared thousands of times, with some talking points making their way onto radio and TV programs, too.

Facebook Says Anonymous Pages Posting Coordinated Pro-Trump Content Do Not Break Its Rules

As public impeachment hearings kicked off in Washington last week, a meme featuring Rep. Adam Schiff spread across Facebook.
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The Health 202: Elizabeth Warren is no longer a Medicare-for-all purist

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was the final presidential candidate fully on board with a swift and complete Medicare-for-all overhaul of the U.S. health-care system. No longer.
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Facebook’s fake numbers problem

The social network has 2.5bn monthly active users but almost 400m of the accounts are bogus.
The Washington Post

Majority of anti-vaccine ads on Facebook were funded by two groups

The majority of Facebook advertisements spreading misinformation about vaccines were funded by two anti-vaccine groups, including one led by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., according to a study published this week.
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Two Groups Finance Over Half Of Facebook’s Anti-Vax Ads

The anti-vax movement has done a lot to derail one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine: vaccinations.
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Over Half of Anti-Vaxxer Ads on Facebook Were Funded by Just Two Entities, Study Finds

New research recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Vaccine indicates the extent to which just a small number of individuals exploited ads on Facebook to promote misinformation about vaccinations.
The Guardian

Majority of anti-vaxx ads on Facebook are funded by just two organizations

Study finds Robert F Kennedy Jr’s World Mercury Project and Larry Cook’s Stop Mandatory Vaccinations bought 54% of ads
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Facebook deleted pro-vaccination adverts on political grounds, study finds

A landmark study into health-related advertising on Facebook has found that the social media giant has removed numerous adverts promoting vaccination on the grounds that they are political.
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Will AI ever ‘understand’ satire?

Machines don't understand much of anything, especially not things such as ironic speech, but machine learning may be able to assist humanity in some way by counting the instances of linguistic and semantic constructions that indicate satire or misleading news, according to a new study by tech startup AdVerifai, in partnership with George Washington University and Amazon’s AWS.
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Researchers develop AI that distinguishes between satire and fake news

Researchers at George Washington University, Amazon AWS AI, and startup AdVerifai investigated a machine learning approach to classifying misleading speech.
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A viral video landed him a job on the Sanders campaign. His resignation highlights the pitfalls of the quest for digital dominance.

Released on YouTube earlier this month, the video racked up millions of views as it tore through social media, caught the eye of the senator’s top staff and landed its creator — a 34-year-old named Matt Orfalea, who got his start in reality television — a job on the campaign.
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The Fact Checker’s guide to campaign ads

When it comes to campaign ads, there’s a lot to be wary of. Not only do they interrupt favorite TV shows, sneak into social feeds and infiltrate dinner conversations, but they can also be misleading or false.
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How Online Hate Speech Spreads Around the Globe

A team of researchers put together the first global map for online hate and suggests new strategies for social media companies.
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Online Hate Report Sheds Light On Prevalence Of Social Media Hate

A recent report analyzes how hate communities on Facebook and VKontakte form, flourish and adapt despite social media organizations trying to snuff them out.
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'Highways of hate': Current policing of hate groups is ineffective, expert warns

Social media firms such as Facebook are policing online hate groups all wrong, according to new research.
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The physics professor who says online extremists act like curdled milk

Hate may be less like a cancer and more like bubbles, says Neil Johnson, who applies physics theory to human behavior
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Try These Four Policies to Dismantle Online Hate Groups

A first-of-its-kind mapping model tracks how hate spread and adapts online—providing what researchers hope is a blueprint for stopping it.
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‘Dark pools’ of hate flourish online. Here are four controversial ways to fight them

A new study suggests online hate groups form and spread along virtual “hate highways.”
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Here’s how social-media firms should tackle online hate, according to physics

Policing online hate groups is like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole, and it’s not working. Here are some ideas that might.
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Mapping on-line hate reveals team work is the only useful countermeasure

Policing on-line hate from within a single platform, such as Facebook, can make the spread of hate worse, and will eventually generate global ‘dark pools’ in which hate will flourish, is one of the findings the finding in a recent scientific paper in Nature.
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Online hate thrives globally through interconnected clusters, study shows

Researchers at George Washington University (GW) have developed a mapping model that is the first of its kind to track how hate clusters thrive online.
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Researchers propose a new approach for dismantling online hate networks

How do you get rid of hate speech on social platforms? Until now, companies have generally tried two approaches. One is to ban individual users who are caught posting abuse; the other is to ban the large pages and groups where people who practice hate speech organize and promote their noxious views.
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'Hate is in the ether': Research finds hate is resilient on the internet

Even as social networks have vowed to do more to remove hate speech from their platforms, at least some of the people who spread it are finding ways to still organize online.
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A new theory describes how hate travels across social media platforms and around the world — and one researcher compares it to water boiling

Researchers from George Washington University and the University of Miami mapped the interconnected networks of hate across platforms and regions in a new study published in Nature on Wednesday.
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A team of physicists and computer scientists from George Washington University and the University of Miami observed this hopping behavior by tracking the movement of right-wing hate clusters that originate on Facebook and VKontakte then cross the boundaries set by internet platforms to applications like Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.
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First of its kind mapping model tracks how hate spreads and adapts online

Researchers have developed a mapping model, the first of its kind, to track how hate spreads online.
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Researchers Model Online Hate Networks in Effort to Battle Them

A new study identifies the network dynamics that help neo-Nazis and other extremists survive and thrive on social media—and suggests ways to defeat them
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Podcast: Tackling online hate speech, and identifying early fossils

Researchers have been modeling how hate groups interact online, and have come up with suggestions to combat this activity
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Strategies for combating online hate

An analysis of the dynamics of online hate groups on social-media platforms reveals why current methods to ban hate content are ineffective, and provides the basis for four potential strategies to combat online hate.
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In the Trump Era, a Family’s Fight With Google and Facebook Over Disinformation

The Western Journal has been among the most popular and influential publications in America, shaping the political beliefs of more than 36 million deeply loyal readers and followers. In the three years ending in March, according to a New York Times analysis, Western Journal’s Facebook posts earned three-quarters of a billion shares, likes and comments, almost as many as the combined tally of 10 leading American news organizations that together employ thousands of reporters and editors.
The Washington Post

Facebook isn’t ready for 2020

Can Facebook really prevent a repeat of the kind of election meddling that Russia conducted in 2016, and that dozens of other countries and nonstate groups are now trying to replicate?
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Research: For Crowdsourcing to Work, Everyone Needs an Equal Voice

How useful is the wisdom of crowds? For years, it has been recognized as producing incredibly accurate predictions by aggregating the opinions of many people, allowing even amateur forecasters to beat the experts.
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Trump Is Holding a Social Media Summit Today. Here’s Who Will Attend—And Who Won’t

The White House is held a closed-door social media summit that was short on social media companies and long on fringe conservative voices that back up President Donald Trump’s claims of being silenced online.