Ben Collins
Ben Collins
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Trump, QAnon and an impending judgment day: Behind the Facebook-fueled rise of The Epoch Times

Trump, QAnon and an impending judgment day: Behind the Facebook-fueled rise of The Epoch Times

By the numbers, there is no bigger advocate of President Donald Trump on Facebook than The Epoch Times. The small New York-based nonprofit news outlet has spent more than $1.5 million on about 11,000 pro-Trump advertisements in the last six months, according to data from Facebook’s advertising archive — more than any organization outside of the Trump campaign itself, and more than most Democratic presidential candidates have spent on their own campaigns. Those video ads — in which unidentified spokespeople thumb through a newspaper to praise Trump, peddle conspiracy theories about the...

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Brandy Zadrozny
August 30, 2019
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Twitter launches 'Birdwatch,' a forum to combat misinformation — with your help

Twitter launches 'Birdwatch,' a forum to combat misinformation — with your help

Twitter unveiled a feature Monday meant to bolster its efforts to combat misinformation and disinformation by tapping users in a fashion similar to Wikipedia to flag potentially misleading tweets. The new system allows users to discuss and provide context to tweets they believe are misleading or false. The project, titled Birdwatch, is a standalone section of Twitter that will at first only be available to a small set of users, largely on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will not be provided to high-profile people or traditional fact-checkers, but users will have to use an...

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Brandy Zadrozny
Jan 26
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Far-right suspect in Queens hoax bombing already under investigation

Far-right suspect in Queens hoax bombing already under investigation

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Ben Collins
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Jan 4
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'Boogaloo Bois' member charged in connection to shooting at MN police station

'Boogaloo Bois' member charged in connection to shooting at MN police station

Oct. 23, 2020, 7:15 PM UTCUpdated Oct. 23, 2020, 8:40 PM UTCBy David K. LiFederal prosecutors charged a far-right extremist in connection with a shooting at during protests sparked by , authorities said Friday.Ivan Harrison Hunter, a 26-year-old apparent member of the “Boogaloo Bois," was charged with one count of rioting after his arrest Wednesday in San Antonio, according to a statement by federal prosecutors based in Minneapolis.Protesters, calling for an end to police brutality and systemic racism, flooded the streets of Minneapolis and many other cities across America following the...

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Ben Collins
Oct 23
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Trump's 'plane loaded with thugs' conspiracy theory matches months-old rumor

Trump's 'plane loaded with thugs' conspiracy theory matches months-old rumor

The conspiracy theory that President Donald Trump pushed Monday that a plane “almost completely loaded with thugs” had been set to disrupt the Republican National Convention was almost identical to a rumor that went viral on Facebook three months ago. In an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Trump claimed that “we had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend, and in the plane it was almost completely loaded with thugs, wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms, with gear and this and that.” He then claimed the matter was “under investigation right now.” There...

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Ben Collins
Sep 1
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Viral pro-Trump tweets came from fake African American spam accounts, Twitter says

Viral pro-Trump tweets came from fake African American spam accounts, Twitter says

SectionsTVFeatured Follow NBC News More from NBC© 2020 NBCNEWS.COMAug. 27, 2020, 7:08 PM EDTBy Ben CollinsTwitter has taken action to stop a spam operation that pushed messages from fake accounts about Black people abandoning the Democratic Party.The company removed two fake accounts and deleted the account of a San Diego man who spammed the platform, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed Wednesday.The fake accounts were purported to be run by Black people whose viral tweets received tens of thousands of shares in the past month. One of the accounts, @WentDemToRep, logged over 11,000 retweets on...

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Ben Collins
Aug 27
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Facebook Bans Ads From The Epoch Times After Huge Pro-Trump Buy

Facebook Bans Ads From The Epoch Times After Huge Pro-Trump Buy

Facebook has banned The Epoch Times, a conservative news outlet that spent more money on pro-Trump Facebook advertisements than any group other than the Trump campaign, from any future advertising on the platform.The decision follows an NBC News report that The Epoch Times had shifted its spending on Facebook in the last month, seemingly in an effort to obfuscate its connection to some $2 million worth of ads that promoted the president and conspiracy theories about his political enemies."Over the past year we removed accounts associated with the Epoch Times for violating our ad policies,...

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Brandy Zadrozny
August 23, 2019
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Twitter is testing new ways to fight misinformation — including a community-based points system

Twitter is testing new ways to fight misinformation — including a community-based points system

Twitter is experimenting with adding brightly colored labels directly beneath lies and misinformation posted by politicians and public figures, according to a leaked demo of new features sent to NBC News. Twitter confirmed that the leaked demo, which was accessible on a publicly available site, is one possible iteration of a new policy to target misinformation it plans to roll out March 5. In this version, disinformation or misleading information posted by public figures will be corrected directly beneath the tweet by fact-checkers and journalists who are verified on the platform, and...

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Ben Collins
February 20, 2020
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Twitter launches 'Birdwatch,' a forum to combat misinformation — with your help

Twitter launches 'Birdwatch,' a forum to combat misinformation — with your help

IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.Jan. 25, 2021, 5:56 PM UTCBy Ben Collins and Brandy ZadroznyTwitter unveiled a feature Monday meant to bolster its efforts to combat misinformation and disinformation by tapping users in a fashion similar to Wikipedia to flag potentially misleading tweets.The new system allows users to discuss and provide context to tweets they believe are misleading or false. The project, titled Birdwatch, is a standalone section of Twitter that will at first only be available to a small set of users, largely on a...

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Brandy Zadrozny
Jan 25
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