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Category Archives: Social Media

UK Investigation – Facebook allegedly offered advertisers special access to users’ data and activities

Washington Post: [see also Motherboard for coverage w/out payall]”A key British lawmaker alleged Wednesday that Facebook maintained “whitelisting agreements” that gave select companies preferential access to valuable user data several years ago, offering insight into how the company balanced concerns about user privacy with the business imperative of growing revenue. Damian Collins, chairman of a… Continue Reading

By the numbers: Political tweets turn blue in 2018

Axios: “New data from Twitter shows the top 10 U.S. politicians who were most tweeted about in the few months after the midterm election were Democrats, replacing a list that was once dominated by GOP lawmakers the majority of 2018. Why it matters: The political clout and conversation is changing with its politicians. Republicans like Speaker… Continue Reading

The godfather of fake news and his counterpart who battles for the truth

BBC News – Meet one of the world’s most prolific writers of disinformation – “Christopher Blair takes a sip of his coffee. Then he carefully focuses on one of the three screens in front of him. He’s in his home office, 45 minutes outside Portland, Maine, on the US East Coast. Stroking his thick beard, he… Continue Reading

Behind an Effort to Fact-Check Live News With Speed and Accuracy

WSJ [paywall] – “The Atlanta-based North Highland consultancy’s Sparks Grove unit has created an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven voice-scanning tool that can identify dubious statements seconds after their utterance, in an effort to more accurately fact-check news. Sparks Grove’s prototype “Voyc” software transcribes live audio and runs each statement against a database of facts compiled from… Continue Reading

Principles and Boundaries of Fact-checking: Journalists’ Perceptions

Principles and Boundaries of Fact-checking: Journalists’ Perceptions by Paul Mena. Published online: 16 Nov 2018. https://doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2018.1547655 [paywall] “This study examines journalists’ perceptions of fact-checking, a growing journalistic activity focused on assessing the veracity of public claims. Professional journalists working on fact-checking or interested in doing fact-checking and based in the United States were surveyed regarding… Continue Reading

Secret Service tests facial recognition system at the White House

FCW.com: “The Secret Service started testing a facial recognition system in and around the White House last week, according to a privacy assessment released by the Department of Homeland Security on Nov. 28. The pilot uses a facial recognition system, unnamed in the privacy document, to pore over faces collected by the Crown closed circuit… Continue Reading

Questions We Should Be Asking About Facebook’s Smear Campaign Against Its Critics

EFF: “The New York Times published a blockbuster story about Facebook that exposed how the company used  so-called “smear merchants” to attack organizations critical of the platform. The story was shocking on a number of levels, revealing that Facebook’s hired guns stooped to dog-whistling, anti-Semitic attacks aimed at George Soros 1 and writing stories blasting… Continue Reading

‘Misinformation’ picked as word of the year by Dictionary.com

The Guardian: “Online resource picked the word over ‘disinformation’ where other dictionaries had opted for ‘toxic’ and ‘single-use.’ “Misinformation”, as opposed to disinformation, is Dictionary.com’s word of the year. It followed “toxic”, picked for the same honor by Oxford Dictionaries, and “single-use”, picked by Collins. Jane Solomon, a linguist-in-residence at Dictionary.com, said the choice of… Continue Reading

You Can Now Add Hashtags to Google Maps

Make Use Of: “Google Maps is rapidly evolving into a bigger and (potentially) better platform than it has been previously. And the latest feature Google is adding to the Maps mix is hashtags. Yes, Google Maps will soon be awash with hashtags, for better or worse. You can now add hashtags to your reviews of… Continue Reading

Teens’ Social Media Habits and Experiences

“Teens credit social media for helping to build stronger friendships and exposing them to a more diverse world, but they express concern that these sites lead to drama and social pressure. Amid growing concern over social media’s impact and influence on today’s youth, a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. teens finds that many… Continue Reading

How China Walled Off the Internet

The New York Times – “Today, China has the world’s only internet companies that can match America’s in ambition and reach. It is years ahead of the United States in replacing paper money with smartphone payments, turning tech giants into vital gatekeepers of the consumer economy. And it is host to a supernova of creative… Continue Reading

Tech giants offer empty apologies because users can’t quit

TechCrunch – ‘Sorry’ means nothing since so does ‘We’re deleting’ A true apology consists of a sincere acknowledgement of wrongdoing, a show of empathic remorse for why you wronged and the harm it caused and a promise of restitution by improving ones actions to make things right. Without the follow-through, saying sorry isn’t an apology,… Continue Reading